Brooklyn Soon To Be Home To World's Most Humongous Barclays Logo

The indefatigable Norman Oder -- at least, we've never seen him defatigued -- reported yesterday on his Atlantic Yards Report that Brooklyn's new Nets arena is about to get a "honking big" Barclays logo on its roof. This is normal and expected for roofed sports facilities these days (check out the lid on Newark's Prudential Center, for example), except that "honking big roof logo" apparently was never mentioned in the design guidelines that arena builder Bruce Ratner presented to the state in 2006. At the time, the roof was going to be a Frank Gehry-designed green space; now that it's instead a big expanse of white metal, apparently the state Empire State Development Corporation, which owns the arena site and oversees the project, gave the okay for logorifficness.

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The Islanders Are Coming! The Islanders Are Coming!

Things have been mostly quiet on the New York Islanders arena front since their public vote for a new home in the 516 crashed and burned spectacularly last summer. That all changed yesterday afternoon, however, with the announcement that the team has scheduled an exhibition game against the Devils at Brooklyn's Barclays Center for October 2, just four days after the new home of the Brooklyn Nets (keep saying it, you'll get used to it) gets its official inauguration by way of a concert by the team's co-owner.

The proclamation led to media excitement way out of proportion to a single preseason hockey game, thanks to the presumption that Isles owner Charles Wang and Nets chieftains Bruce Ratner and that guy running for president of Russia are plotting to make this much more than a one-time visit.

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Brooklynites Who Once Supported Atlantic Yards Switch Sides, Claiming Broken Promises

Atlantic Yards Jobs protest.JPG
Across the street from the under-construction Atlantic Yards stadium, the future home of the Nets in Prospect Heights, a group of about 100 Brooklynites gathered yesterday to protest several large development projects in the neighborhood which they say have not delivered the promised job and contracts to the local community.

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War of Words Heats Up Over Prokhorov's Zimbabwegate

It's Day Three of the Great Zimbabwe Flap, and the rhetoric over a New Jersey Congressman's challenge to Russian bazillionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's purchase of the Nets is heating up. Prokhorov fired back at Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-My-Constituents-Don't-Want-to-Drive-Through-Two-Tunnels-to-Watch-the-Nets-Lose) yesterday, calling the charges that he'd violated economic sanctions against Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe "erroneous," and saying that "we have no dealings whatsoever with companies or individuals on the sanctions list."

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Sanction-busting Investigation Could Threaten Nets Deal, Atlantic Yards

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ) tells the Post that he's requesting a Treasury Department investigation to see if Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian investor who's trying to buy stakes in both the Nets and the planned Nets Arena in Brooklyn, has violated Bush-era sanctions against doing business with associates of Robert Mugabe and his government in Zimbabwe. Prokhorov's Onexim Group, which has offices in the United States, holds a 50 percent stake in Renaissance Capital, which has extensive holdings in Zimbabwe.

This is not good news for Bruce Ratner, who is depending on Prokhorov's investment to get his Atlantic Yards project built.

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Atlantic Yards is a Go: Streets Close March 8, Evictions Expected Soon

Get those shackles ready, Freddy's: Judge Abraham Gerges has denied what appears to be the last big appeal of the eminent domain seizures for the Atlantic Yards project.

Several businesses, including Freddy's Backroom, are denied all relief; others, including condo owner Daniel Goldstein, may file claims regarding compensation, but cannot expect to keep their property.

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Downtown Brooklyn -- Where It's All Happening, Eventually, Baby!

The New York Post has the surprising story: that the newest Hot Nabe is -- Downtown Brooklyn! Yes, the zone of borough offices, courts, the Transit Museum, and crappy delis is "Brooklyn's fastest-growing residential neighborhood" -- its population has tripled in just 10 years.

That still leaves it with only about 9,000 residents, but some of them are living in condos built during the last good real estate years, which means they're sort of people that make a neighborhood swing, baby.

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Locals Plan to Arrest Bruce Ratner at Noon on Wednesday, Disappointingly Eschew Violence

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and other opponents of the Atlantic Yards land grab that's throwing many citizens out of their Brooklyn homes invite you, dear reader, to help them arrest developer and AY kingpin Bruce Ratner tomorrow. The citizen posse does not promise violence, but does suggest it will be good times all around. The warrant will be served at noon on Wednesday.

The charge, we are told in a DDDB post that appears to have been removed (though a press release has been disseminated), is "bribing a public official," presumably referring to the effect of Ratner's millions on public policy rather than to related crimes that are actually being prosecuted.

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Atlantic Yards Brings "Permanent" Street Closings; Ratner Writes a Letter; Haier In On Barclays Center

Atlantic Yards Report reproduces a notice that says, starting on February 1, stretches of Pacific Street and Fifth Avenue within the footprint will be "permanently closed," presumably in preparation for work on the Ratner megacomplex at Atlantic Yards.

Dan Goldstein of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn says the closings are being made "prematurely" and promises to challenge them. The Brooklyn Paper says the closings "indicate that the pace of construction will likely intensify," though "intensify" is a relative term applied to the slow-going project.

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Yonkers Pol Sandy Annabi Charged With Corruption in Ratner (Atlantic Yards) Project

Yonkers pol Sandy Annabi, accused of corruption.
Yonkers Democratic pol Sandy Annabi and two others were charged today with conspiracy, bribery, and extortion in connection with the startling reversal in 2006 of Annabi's opposition to a Forest City Ratner project in Westchester County.

Forest City Ratner, currently trying to ram Atlantic Yards down Brooklyn's throat, is unnamed and unindicted and unmentioned by specific name even in the U.S. Attorney's official statement. But the case centers on its controversial Ridge Hill development. (Indictment here; "Developer No. 2" is Forest City Ratner.)More »