Davis, P. (1986). Partners for Downtown Development: Creating a New Central Business District in Brooklyn. Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, 36(2), 87-99.

In this article, author Perry Davis discusses the early plans for the development of Downtown Brooklyn’s Atlantic Center, which we now know houses the Barclays Center, a shopping mall, and numerous stores and restaurants. Davis describes how significant this ambitious project was at the time of its announcement. As New York City recovered from the economic disarray of the early 1980’s, politicians and city planners noticed that job growth was extending from Manhattan into Westchester, New Jersey and Connecticut, but not to the rest of New York City. Revitalizing Downtown Brooklyn would extend the country’s largest business district, Manhattan, into another borough for the first time. The article discusses how Downtown Brooklyn was chosen as the cite of expansion as opposed to other areas or boroughs: it had affordable, publicly owned land; short, direct transportation to Manhattan; a large labor pool; and most importantly for the purposes of our project, “a broad array of residential properties ranging from luxury brownstones in Brooklyn Heights to public housing in Fort Greene.” The article then goes on to discuss the partnerships and organizations involved in bringing the plan to life. Once the deal was announced, the Partnership struggled to find private-sector tenants. The new Downtown Brooklyn area was being promoted as “a ‘Wall Street East’ right across the river.” Finally, Morgan Stanley & Co. agreed to build and occupy a major computer center in the area. Soon, more private-sector companies wanted space in the neighborhood, which ultimately led to a decline in public approval. Neighborhood groups attacked the project for being insensitive to the employment needs of the minority community. Here, we see how the development of the area further increased the gap between high and low-income residents. Most importantly, the historical and analytical information in this article provides important insight as to why reviving and gentrifying Downtown Brooklyn was such an important step. It also makes apparent that the current inequalities were an inevitable result of these changes.


Madden, D. J. (2014), Neighborhood as Spatial Project: Making the Urban Order on the Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38: 471–497. doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12068

This article discusses the idea of the neighborhood, which the author discusses as a keyword for urban planning, community politics and academic urban knowledge. He analyzes how the development “spatial projects” in Downtown Brooklyn formed a large neighborhood from smaller surrounding ones, at the risk of many residents. It details the numerous waves of opposition to this expansion. It also further explains the current economic inequalities for the groups of people previously and currently residing here, which is essential for our project. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, tenants living in the downtown Brooklyn’s lofts pursued their own project for the neighborhood. Organizations such as the Old Brooklyn Waterfront Alliance and the Fulton Ferry Local Development Corporation mobilized around the identities of loft tenants and artists to oppose large-scale development. Some residents put in years’ worth of hard work and apartment renovations, and then fought against landlords intent on evicting them. Others argued against creating a “Fordist” industrial production. But as we know, the show went on anyway. He digresses: “The clearest effect of neighborhood production here is the creation of a distinctly unequal urban order—this district constitutes one of the starkest juxtapositions between rich and poor in all of New York. North of York Street, Dumbo and Vinegar Hill have a median yearly household income of $163,147. On the other side of York Street, Farragut Houses, sitting just across from a number of new condominiums, has a median income of $18,702. In 1970, these figures were less than $2,000 apart.” The author reminds us that he is not arguing that neighborhood projects on their own create urban inequality, but that neighborhood projects format and express urban spatial inequality in significant ways.


Willoughby, S. (2013). A slam dunk in brooklyn. Network Journal, 20(1), 41.

In this journal article, Willoughby argues that the Barclays Center is a very positive addition for Brooklyn as a whole because it brings visitors to the borough, brings entertainment to the residents, and creates a more upscale look for the area. He goes on to explain in detail how, just like Madison Square Garden mimics Manhattan, the Barclays Center mimics Brooklyn. The borough, which he suggests “has always been unique in its own right” (41), is famous for its brownstones, or at least Downtown Brooklyn is, and therefore Barclays’s architect, Christopher Sharpies, designed the arena to embody the brownstones. Willoughby even points out that the Barclays Center is bringing in community artists to decorate the walls of the center, such as the ArtBridge in construction areas, to further entertain the residents and new visitors.

He refers to the Barclays Center as the “much-needed gem of a venue that features…an entertainment boutique”. This implies that he believes the neighborhood has become depressed and that an influx of visitors and capital will solve the problem. He never mentions the dissent that was present during the building process, and instead focuses on the luxury amenities that will be offered by the center. This article will be able to provide a positive view of gentrification for our project. However, the article is also a good example of how the Barclays Center’s “plan to celebrate the talent of Brooklyn residents” (41) actually took the amenities away from the residents. For example, by hiring local restaurateurs to be vendors inside the arena, the food became to pricey for local residents to partake in. Then, the center promised community art displays, but they placed them in the construction areas, so that they are not seen by any of the visitors to the center. The article, although Willoughby tries to shine a positive light on the center, has actually just written a perfect example of how gentrification may be well-intentioned but tends to be detrimental to the original residents of the area.


Harrington, A. (2011). The House That Cultural Capital Built: The Saga of the New Yankee Stadium. NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture,19(2), 77-92.

In this journal article, Andrew Gordon Harrington discusses the effects of the new Yankee Stadium on the South Bronx. He starts by explaining that cultural capital was used to justify the large government expenditures and the clearing of the area used to build the stadium. The Yankees have an extreme amount of cultural capital, because not only does their name carry a lot of pride for the people of New York, but the team has a massive fiscal wealth associated with it. This is as opposed to the residents of the South Bronx who have little cultural capital because they are mostly impoverished and most other New Yorkers do not care about what happens in the South Bronx. The article explains how the government and the team tried to sell the new stadium as being great for the neighborhood—it would provide constriction jobs and permanent jobs once the stadium opened, give an economic boost to the area, and bring pride to the area. However, Harrington points out that the construction jobs are very temporary, the “permanent” jobs are the same ones offered by the old stadium, and the pride already existed for the original Yankee stadium that was built in 1923.

This article will be helpful to our project because it provides a case study of how the building of a new arena can negatively affect the residents of the surrounding areas. The new Yankee Stadium even brought with it the Gateway Center, a shopping mall filled with chain-stores that overtook the local-run businesses in the area, which is eerily reminiscent of the new Atlantic Terminal built next to the Barclays Center. Plus, it gives rise to the inequality that exists between those implementing gentrifying measures and those being gentrified.


Armstrong, J. (2003). The Other New York. Retail Traffic, 32 (12).

Armstrong talks about the movement of retailers and developers from Manhattan to the other boroughs. While Manhattan is still the borough that these developers/retailers want to build their buildings/businesses in, retail space is shrinking while the cost of building skyrockets. It is becoming a challenge for these industries to find the space they need to flourish. Meanwhile, focusing specifically on Brooklyn, it is very similar to Manhattan in terms of subway access. Brooklyn is very accessible and over the years has improved in safety and demographic aspects. Retailers and developers are able to find big spaces for much less than what it would have gone for in Manhattan. It is this reason why they have begun to take a notice in business prospects in Brooklyn.

The main point the article makes is that there should be an expectation of an increase in large retail businesses and building developments in Brooklyn. It is saying that developers and retailers would be foolish to continue to ignore the four other boroughs because they are just waiting for new developments to occur. This is relevant to my project because due to the increase in retail business/building developments, we have the issue of gentrification. This article is explaining why and how the process of gentrification began in Brooklyn. The Atlantic Shopping Mall is home to many large chains because retail space is so cheap, and thanks to the development of the Barclays Center, they will have no problem finding any business. Even on our field trip, my group and I noticed something that seemed very strange. It was a True Religion Store on the block of the Shake Shack. We all acknowledged how we all have never seen just a True Religion store, we usually see these in shopping centers, malls, or in Manhattan. We were really surprised to see a random True Religion store in the middle of Brooklyn, it seems as if Brooklyn has turned into the other Manhattan.


Klonick, K. (2011) Not in My Atlantic Yards: Examing Netroots’ Role in Eminent Domain Reform. Academic Law Reviews, 100 Geo. L.J. 263

The practice of eminent domain comes from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which states that “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”. So while the use of eminent domain is constitutional, the “public use” part has become widely contested, because what exactly does “public use” constitute? In this article, it explores the widening use of eminent domain and the effects it has on the community that once surrounds it. It also goes on to explain that in cases such as the Brooklyn arena, now known as the Barclays Center, even with widespread community dissatisfaction, the developer was able to take the land and use it to his own, private advantage. This case is puzzling because the arena is a private business, it is not like a public park or highway. If developers, as the one who built the Barclays Center, are able to use eminent domain to build sports arenas and high end residential buildings, then where is the line drawn?

The main point of this article is that, in New York, there needs to be eminent domain reform. The Barclays Center is a big example of a private developer taking advantage of a law meant to benefit the public, and use it to benefit himself and his private business ventures. This is relevant to my project because the Barclays Center is one of the places we chose to write about. Also, if developers are able to use eminent domain as Bruce Ratner has, it can contribute to the overall gentrification of Downtown Brooklyn. As stated in my previous annotated bibliography, retailers and developers are beginning to acknowledge the business prospects in Brooklyn, and the Barclays Center is a great example of how rich corporations can take advantage, and basically displace, the low-income population in Brooklyn.


Siegfried, John, and Andrew Zimbalist. “The Economics of Sports Facilities and Their Communities”. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 14.3 (2000): 95–114. Web.

This article from John Siegried and Andrew Zimbalist comes from their The Journal of Economic Perspectives. The section I am focusing on from their journal is the section titled “The Economics of Sports Facilities and Their Communities.” This section goes into explaining how sports facilities truly change certain neighborhoods and cities. Since my group is discussing the changes/differences that are taking place on and near the Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue area of Brooklyn and right in the center of both main streets is the newly established Barclays Center, Siegried and Zimbalist’s article will be a good source to use. The two writers state that a sport stadium is good for the local community in a way by saying this, “a local sports franchise may create external benefits for local residents who never attend games. Fans may follow the team in the newspaper and watch games on television, while never attending an event.” In other words, establishing a sports team in a certain, the Nets re-establishing in Downtown Brooklyn, will give local residents a new sense of love for their area. Plus, the locals will help support the team by continually buying newspapers that talk about the local team or by watching games on their televisions at home. They don’t necessarily need to go spend money at the sports facility, though it is preferred, as long as the locals support the team and the new arena. Siegried and Zimbalist also write, “residents of many metropolitan areas appear to believe that premier league sports franchises validate their worth of the community as a “major league” city.” If that is true, Brooklyn has become a “major league” city/neighborhood and has attracted outsiders. This is only some of the points that can benefit my groups research in Downtown Brooklyn.

Bloomberg, Michael R. “A Slam Dunk for Brooklyn and all New York.” Haiti Observateur: 7. Feb 11 2004. ProQuest. Web. 16 Mar. 2016 .

Former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, took the time to write this article, “A Slam Dunk for Brooklyn and all New York,” and talk about the benefits the newly built Barclay’s Center will bring for the borough of Brooklyn. Bloomberg mentions that prior to the Barclays Center being built, it was 46 years since there was a professional sports team that played in Brooklyn, the last being the Brooklyn Dodgers from Ebbets Field. The former mayor emphasizes that Brooklyn deserves to be a “major league” city due to its size. He writes, “Taken by itself the borough would have the fourth largest population of any city in the country.”

Bloomberg’s next critical point of this article is that the Barclays Center will do more than just bring a basketball team, eventually a hockey team too, but it will also boost the economy of Brooklyn. He states that “retail stores and office space” will come with the new addition of the Barclays Center. With the newest basketball arena, Bloomberg also elaborates that an increase in housing space will occur, some affordable units to keep current residents, as well as other units to attract outsiders. In other words, all of this is a way to gentrify the area of Downtown Brooklyn to make it better. Since at the time he was the Mayor of New York City, Bloomberg is also concerned with the job creation that comes with the Atlantic Yards projects. He writes, “The historic project will create 10,000 jobs during construction, and thousands of permanent new jobs in Brooklyn when it’s completed.”

This source from the former Mayor of New York City is another useful article for group. It will help us better understand the intentions of the political side of having a massive arena in the middle of Downtown Brooklyn. Also when reading in between the lines, I can tell that the one of the intentions of this construction projection was to continue gentrifying Brooklyn.


Taking a Private Property to Build an Urban Sports Arena: A valid Exercise of Eminent Domain Powers?

By: Giovanna D’Orazio, Albany Law Review (Vol.69 Issue 4, 2006)

This journal article discusses the use of eminent domain to construct the Barclays center and surrounding Atlantic Yards residential complex. The article immediately delves into the question whether or not is was just for the city to utilize eminent domain to seize and demolish private property in order to build a private sports arena and private residential complex. Historically, especially in New York City, eminent domain had been used only for projects that serves the public, such as highways, bridges, tunnels, and other infrastructure vital for the functioning of the city. The exception being the World Trade Center, which used eminent domain during its construction. In the article it mentions that there is an ongoing debate over public use vs. public purpose in the eminent domain clause of the New York constitution, as the arena is intended to be used by the public, and if the neighborhood is improved, will ultimately benefit the public. However, the stadium is not accessible to all the public, as many cannot afford the ticket prices or could care less about attending basketball games and concerts, thus it serves them no purpose. Also, the private owners of the sports teams benefit profit wise and not the public as a whole.

There is also the use of urban renewal for eminent domain, which allows the city to demolish slum-like neighborhoods to try and improve the city. The author argues, however, that this does not include the neighborhoods surrounding Barclays as they were improving themselves without the stadium and in actuality were beginning to thrive on their own. Thus the author concludes that private property should not be seized t build a stadium in a neighborhood which is thriving on its own and has its own unique character. Overall, this connects to our groups project, as the area around Barclays is different than the rest of Brooklyn. Atlantic Yards doesn’t have a lot of character and it seems more suburban like than city like. Thus, this article discussed how eminent domain helped kill a thriving neighborhood, which happens to be the one we as a group are studying.


Super-gentrification: the case of Brooklyn Heights, New York City.

By: Loretta Lees, Urban Studies (Nov, 2003)

This article analyzes super-gentrification in Brooklyn Heights, New York, and the impact it has had on the neighborhood, for both the good and the bad. I chose this article because although our group is studying Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights immediately borders the downtown area to the northwest. The downtown area itself, after undergoing urban renewal, is itself starting to gentrify and possibly some of this has to do with spill over form the Brooklyn Heights Area. During our walking tour and selection of buildings, numerous locations were selected which exemplified this spill over of gentrification, such as specialty stores and cafes. Thus while this analyzes a different neighborhood, it is very relevant to the downtown are, and in fact, may be affecting it.

One point this article discusses is how gentrification raises the cost of living in a neighborhood significantly. The author does this by interviewing current and former residents of Brooklyn Heights. For example, one interviewee remarked a brownstone cost $28,000 in the early 1960’s. After fixing it up ad evicting a few tenants, he then sold it 30 years later for $600,000. After the new owner did some more renovations, the brownstone was sold for $1.75 million in 2002. This just goes to show the cost rise as a result of gentrification…a rise of $1.5 million over the course of 40 years. Thus this raises the question of is it fair to have existing residents removed and displaced to accommodate for the wealthy who wish to live in a space? The article further goes on to discuss how super-gentrification of an area, while improving its economy, education level, and overall appearance, can be harmful for diversity and culture within a neighborhood. The author remarks how gentrification to the point of constructing luxury high rises can destroy the feel of a neighborhood. Overall, this is certainly a possibility for our neighborhood of downtown Brooklyn as it continues to grow and develop at a rapid pace. Soon, like most of Manhattan, it may be unaffordable to all except the super rich. 

“Bridging the gap.” The Economist 19 Feb. 2005: 6US. Academic OneFile. Web. 1 May 2016.

The article provides data on how much the rent and property values rising in New York City. This was no big news to the island of Manhattan where apartments are always high in demand and the price has always been on the rise. Recently, however, the Economist stated that in the year 2005, the median price of an apartment in Manhattan was around 670,000, more than three times what is worth in 1995. Not only are prices rising in Manhattan, it has started to rise all over New York City, including Downtown Brooklyn. Young affluent artist are attracted to Downtown Brooklyn because of establishments like the BAM Theater or the Brooklyn Academy of Theater.


Madden, D. J. (2014), Neighborhood as Spatial Project: Making the Urban Order on the Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38: 471–497. doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12068

The article is about studying the concept of what makes a neighborhood- a neighborhood. It argues against the idea that neighborhood are these natural little towns or spaces of an urban community. Maden writes that neighborhoods are shaped more by “urban planning” by big companies and that the neigh hood is inherently political. The arguments in the article are based on the historical and ethnographic study of neighborhood formations in parts of Brooklyn (downtown Brooklyn included).

We can use some of the arguments in the article to tell the story of Downtown Brooklyn that my group is trying to project. For example, Downtown Brooklyn has seen a lot of urban planning reshaping their urban space and sense of community. Forest City Ratner constructed and developed both the Atlantic Terminal and the Atlantic Mall (that opened in 2004). On top of that, the Barclays Center was built one block away from the Atlantic Mall. For the space to build the Barclays Center, the government kicked out residents from their home by paying them the property value of their homes (eminent domain) for the “benefit” to the community the new arena would bring.