If everything goes on schedule, sometime next August flatbed trucks will haul the first of some 930 modular units from a fabrication facility at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to a staging area next door to the Barclays Center, Brooklyn’s new 19,000-seat arena. Along the two-mile drive, the units — steel-encased fragments of a skyscraper with pre-installed plumbing, wiring and insulation — will pass the Raymond V. Ingersoll housing project, which sits in the second poorest census tract in Brooklyn. Then, after a left on Flatbush Avenue, they will cut through New York’s largest business district outside Manhattan and cruise down a corridor newly adorned with luxury high-rises (like the oscillating glass- and aluminum-paneled Toren and the borough’s tallest building, the equally luxurious Brooklyner).
At Dean Street, cranes will lift each module, some as long as 50 feet across, and attach them together, creating B2. When finished, it will be the tallest modular building in the world and the first residential part of the contentious Brooklyn megaproject, Atlantic Yards.
One of these modules will presumably belong to Kassoum Fofana.
When we spoke in November, Fofana hadn’t yet been to the Barclays Center to see the Brooklyn Nets. In fact, he said he preferred the Chelsea Football Club to the newly relocated basketball team. For someone who will soon have a home in the arena’s backyard, it’s perhaps surprising. But Fofana, 48, straddles both sides of Atlantic Yards history.