Bruce Ratner Aggravates Construction Workers by Considering Modular Buildings at Atlantic Yards

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The Atlantic Yards, as they are now.
The Atlantic Yards, as they are now. Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

While many Brooklynites and conservationists protested Bruce Ratner's massive Atlantic Yards project, one group that was steadfastly on his side was construction workers. They argued that the massive complex would be good for the local economy and drowned out local protesters with chants of "Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!" But now the same supporters are agog at news that Ratner, in an effort to save money, is considering cheap and labor-light modular construction for some of the commercial and residential space on the property. The Times reports today that Forest City Ratner has been secretly looking into modular construction for nearly a year and is considering building the highest pre-fab tower ever built, at 30 stories. Because of pressure from affordable-housing advocates and a string of financial deadlines, Ratner's under pressure to begin excavation right away. And as you can see from this stop-motion video of a modular hotel in China (in which the structure is completely built in a matter of days), with pre-fab construction comes speed. It would also cut costs in half, which explains why Ratner is considering it so seriously. Needless to say, we've come a long way from the jumbled, whimsical towers that original masterplanner Frank Gehry once envisioned.

Prefabricated Tower May Rise at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards [NYT]
Related: The Fall of the Atlantic Yards Megaplan [NYM]
Bruce Ratner SHoPs for Respectability [NYM]
The Battle for the Soul of Brooklyn [NYM]