Brooklyn Broadside: Atlantic Yards Attracts Developers to Nearby Sites

March 23, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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By Dennis Holt

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BROOKLYN — During the long and bitter debate over the merits of the overall Atlantic Yards proposal, and specifically the sports arena, claims and counter-claims by the score were tossed about so much that no one knew what to believe.

This should have been expected, because new ground was being broken of major significance in an area in Brooklyn with a lot of empty ground. The size of the housing plan overwhelmed most people, and the development was located at the edge of four different neighborhoods.

Supporters constantly asserted that the arena was sure to attract new commercial interest, but no one knew exactly what, although food and drink establishments would surely be coming.

With the arena well underway, new business proposals are being revealed, and there are some big surprises. There have been several lengthy reports in various major publications on projects under consideration, and there is one we didn’t expect — housing. This is not the housing that will be part of the Atlantic Yards plan; but housing that is totally independent of the project, including a boutique hotel straight from Paris.

According to The New York Times, a man named Cyril Aouizerate, the owner of a boutique hotel called Mama Shelter in the 29th Arrondissement of Paris, is “90 percent sure” he will be opening a Mama Shelter somewhere near the arena. (One can be sure that the name Mama Shelter doesn’t appear anywhere in Forest City’s planning documents.)

Another new developer is Michael Pintchik, whose family has owned stores in the area for decades. When new brownstoners came to the area, they were always told to go to Pintchik’s for paint. Now, there is a report that Pintchik hopes to build a seven-story apartment building on a site opposite the arena.

Not to be outdone by that possibility, a company called PRD Realty, which owns land on which Bergen Tile has been located for decades, is said to want to build a small apartment building on that site as well.

 Making the whole Atlantic Yards area even more uncertain is the impact that the new nearby cultural center will have on the general scene. It is still evolving and will surely contribute to new places and new stores.

Yes, Virginia, there is a new Brooklyn.

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