Published: April 8, 2014


Green giant: Developer Forest City Ratner and its Chinese-government partner will build a green roof on top of the Barclays Center that will help muffle noise from big-ticket events. Forest City Ratner

By Megan Riesz

The Barclays Center is going green.

The Prospect Heights arena is set to get a massive vegetation roof that mega-developer Forest City Ratner says will beautify the view for future Atlantic Yards tenants and help quell neighbors’ concerns about the bass boom of concerts and sporting events.

“The roof is an amenity, but we acknowledge, of course, that it will probably do something about sound if we have that issue again,” said Forest City Ratner spokeswoman Ashley Cotton. “It was the right time to introduce this concept as an amenity for all of the residents that will be surrounding the arena, and for people of the community.”

Forest City Ratner is not sure when construction will start on the roof, according to Cotton, who would not say how much the addition will cost. Once it starts, the process should take about nine months and require three cranes, according to a company press release.

The green roof will be partially funded by Greenland, the Chinese-government-owned developer that is buying the un-built portion of the hot-button development complex over and around the Long Island Rail Road train yard at Flatbush and Atlantic avenues.

The emerald ceiling will be built on top of the existing roof and will offer a lush view for inhabitants of planned apartment towers that will supposedly one day loom over the Barclays Center, but it is not a front lawn, Forest City insists. Residents and leisure-seekers will be barred from climbing around on the inviting turf, despite the ramp up to the window of one building and the 4-10-feet crawl-and-frolic space between the sod and the actual roof. The B2 skyscraper is the only building in the planned complex currently under construction. That 383-unit skyscraper, made by slotting prefabricated apartment boxes into a frame, will rise to 32 stories at the corner of Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue and include about 180 below-market-rate apartments.

Forest City Ratner had originally planned a green roof as part of its bid to get Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, an eco-friendly design standard overseen by the U.S. Green Building Council, company head honcho Mary Anne Gilmartin said in a statement. The arena got its green certification without the flashy feature, but wanted a “more direct connection” to the plant-covered subway entrance in front of the arena, according to Gilmartin.

The overhaul will apparently obscure the gigantic rooftop logo of British financial giant Barclays, which paid $453 million to U.S. and British authorities in 2012 for its rigging of international interest rates.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.