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|There were no shovels at yesterday’s Atlantic Yards groundbreaking for B2, the first of three new residential towers cradling the Barclays Center. Instead, we were treated to a model chassis that will be the building block for the world’s tallest modular residential building. (The now-useless shovel department at Home Depot has already re-branded as "Spoons for NBA Players.")|
|Forest City Ratner Cos and Skanska USA have teamed up for the 32-story building, expected to open in 2014. Mayor Mike noted how the modular building has the potential to change how cities are built—the design allows for safer, faster, more sustainable, and more affordable construction. Even more important for Brooklyn: 50% of the 363 units will be priced for low- and middle-income households. Overall, 2,250 of Atlantic Yards’ planned 6,430 units will be affordable. (He joked he’d be unemployed in 2014 and wonders if he’ll qualify.) Also pictured: Skanska USA CEO Bill Flemming, Brooklyn borough prez Marty Markowitz, and FCRC EVP MaryAnne Gilmartin.|
|We snapped company execs—including Forest City Enterprises CEO David LaRue (fourth from right) and FCRC chairman Bruce Ratner(fifth from left)—with elected officials and community leaders on the model chassis, which will be the basic building block for the new building. 930 of these will join together for B2; the engineering will allow for 23 different apartment variations. What’s more, Bruce says, is that the same finishes will be used for both market-rate and affordable apartments—you won’t be able to tell one from the other. “We’ll build something Brooklyn is proud of,” he says.|