The Daily News' real-estate correspondent Jason Sheftell is truly, madly, deeply in love with the Barclays Center, Bruce Ratner's new Nets/occasional Jay-Z concert arena on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. After getting a tour of the arena, Sheftell proclaimed: "Barclays Center Arena Will Change Brooklyn Forever." The article includes some exclusive photos of the massive space, which is still under construction. Sheftell continues:
"There are moments touring the Barclays Center in Prospect Heights when you can’t help but feel extreme joy. It’s like walking the Empire State Building, I imagine, when the thing was all girders and steel. You just know this building will change New York City and the borough of Brooklyn forever. No longer will Brooklyn play second fiddle to Manhattan, or any other city such as Chicago or Miami."
Ratner, who has been unfavorably compared to a modern-day Robert Moses, has waged a long and costly battle for the space over the last decade. He is also finding an outlet for his excitement in hyperbole: “This is the first truly 21st-century building in New York City.” He also calls it "the greatest arena I've ever seen."
Sheftell likens the space to other great New York "civic spaces" like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The excitement is spreading — at least to other people with major investments in the project. "When the Nets get good, the place is going to hop," said Gregg Pasquarelli, a parter at SHoP, one of the architecture firms that designed the Center. About 2,000 seats will be available on game days for $15 or less (at least until the Nets actually do get good), while the "Jay-Z inspired" Vault Club charges $550,000 for its premium seats.
Sheftell, who worked at Cigar Aficionado before joining the News, described his spiritual relationship with New York real estate to Brick Underground in 2010, helping to explain some of his enthusiasm for the Barclays Center:
I can sometimes walk into a place and feel the energy of the people who have lived there before. Over the years, during the course of doing my job, I’ve even spoken to psychics about this and basically I’ve learned it is important to do something to your apartment to make it your own. New York is filled with powerful and intense people and our energy is never lost in the space where we live.
The Barclays Center is set to open on September 28 with — what else? — a concert by Nets partial-owner Jay-Z.