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Can Barclays Center plaza become the Brooklyn equivalent of the Grand Central Station clock?September 17, 2012
Arena developers paid $4 million for the next 20 years for the naming rights for the station, whose doorstep is a 30,000 square foot open space plaza lined with paving stones, benches and greenery.
“We love the plaza. We think it becomes in some ways the new clock, the grand central clock for many people in Brooklyn,” [Forest City Ratner Executive VP] Gilmartin said.
Can the Barclays Center plaza serve as the Brooklyn equivalent of the Grand Central Station clock, a meeting place and dispatch point?
Only in part. First, it’s not (obviously) a year-round destination; the Urban Room, the atrium that was supposed to be there, had more of a chance.
Second, however convenient the stairs to the transit hub, it’s not the most direct path to all the subway platforms, nor the Long Island Rail Road.
Third, the adjoining streets, Atlantic Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, promise to be rather busy, which means lingering at the plaza will become that less enjoyable.
That said, it should become a gathering place, at least in better weather. And if it’s “programmed,” with attractions and events, that would draw more people and give them a reason to stay.