Ratner eyes Brooklyn Navy Yard for Atlantic Yards Construction

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Prefabricated skyscrapers could wake city’s manufacturing industry

Developer Forest City Ratner is looking at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as one of three possible sites to manufacture modular units of the Atlantic Yards project, according to a source with knowledge of the project.

“The Brooklyn Navy Yard is close to the site and it would be kind of cool given its history of ship building,” said the source, adding that the other site is also in Brooklyn and the third site is in Queens.

When finalized the manufacturing site will construct prefabricated units for the world’s largest modular constructed building at 32 floors on the Atlantic Yards site. It will also be utilized for the other 14 other residential buildings proposed on the $4.5 bill project.

The source said that surprisingly there are still quite a few manufacturing sites around the city, and modular construction will bring manufacturing union and trade-union jobs.
“The site will also serve the construction needs around the city, the country and perhaps globally,” the source said.

The narrowing down of a manufacturing site comes as FCR President Bruce Ratner unveiled the design for the 32-story residential prefabricated building for the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street last week. Ratner said he hoped work would begin on the building in early 2012.

If successful, Ratner may build an even higher prefabricated building of 50-stories on the 22-acre Atlantic Yards site. Currently, the world’s tallest prefabricated building is a 25-story dormitory in Wolverhampton, England, that was built in 2010 in less than 12 months.

Ratner, whose company is a major developer in the city and around the country, told reporters that he has been studying new modern modular technologies for several years and believes the construction industry is moving in that direction, in good part because it reduces costs.

Upon final build-out, the Atlantic Yards project will include the Barclay Nets Arena, which is now under construction, and 6,430 units of housing. Of this housing, 4,500 will be rental units and half of those or 2,250 are earmarked as for low- moderate- and middle-income families.