Size does matter! Barclays Center plaza off limits to groups bigger than three

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You and your friends are welcome to hang out at the colossal plaza in front of the Barclays Center, but you’ll be kicked out if there are more than three of you.

Forest City Ratner officials dropped a bombshell on Wednesday night when they mentioned the possibility of a no-group policy at the new plaza — meaning that groups of four or more will be kicked out of what designers hope will become Brooklyn’s most popular outdoor community center.

“[Our] Atlantic Terminal Mall policy allows security to disperse groups of four or more — that creates a safe and comfortable experience,” Forest City Executive Vice President MaryAnne Gilmartin, said on Wednesday night as she revealed the plaza plan to the public.

“We will continue to make policies that will create that same experience at the plaza,” she added.

Gasps rang out at the public meeting when Gilmartin made the announcement, but their cries went relatively unheard — Forest City officials took a few questions during the meeting, but refused to talk to reporters afterward.

The rule essentially gives cops the same leeway they have at the crime-ridden, Bruce Ratner-owned malls down the street: the ability to kick out a kid who is under 21 if he happens to gather with three or more other friends.

Forest City officials have said that the policy stops groups of kids from turning into all-out angry mobs at the mall — but at the end of the day, enforcement is up to a police or security officer’s discretion.

Earlier this week, Ratner touted the plaza as “one of Brooklyn’s great public spaces,” one that will host events, movies, and maybe even the Brooklyn Flea or a greenmarket. That’s a different setting than the mall, where the goal is to get customers in, make them pay, and get them out to make room for the next batch of wallets.

It’s unclear whether cops would break up crowds at, say, a movie screening, but one thing is clear — Ratner’s concern over groups of kids does not go unwarranted. The Atlantic Terminal Mall is a breeding ground for criminals, as our comprehensive police blotter data make clear.

There have been at least 17 crimes reported in or around the mall in the past 90 days, according to police data. On Monday, a knife-wielding psycho got in an argument and slashed a man in the neck just outside. On Sept. 18, some jerk stole a woman’s purse inside Ratner’s notoriously crime-infested Target. On Sept. 16, a cruising caper stopped his car near the mall, got out and stole a man’s phone, and drove away.

The list goes on.

On Thursday, Forest City officials said that it’s too soon to speculate about whether the plaza policies will match the mall’s rules verbatim.

“We will work closely with the local precinct and security experts to ensure that the plaza is safe, just as the police and security officials ensure that other public spaces in Brooklyn and throughout the city are safe,” said Joe DePlasco, spokesman for Forest City Ratner. “As of now, we have not developed a policy for the plaza, but our hope that it is used by lots of people in many different ways — all of them safely.”

Updated 4:01 pm, September 30, 2010: Updated to include a new quote from Forest City Ratner.
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Reader Feedback

Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
As the saying goes prevention is better than cure.

Lord knows if FCRC did not put this policy in place and something did happen the outcry would be front page news. When I was a teenager hanging out in the mall we were moved along if we stood in one place for too long.

But I have a question are we really blaming the crime at Atlantic Terminal Mall on Bruce Ratner, because as I see it the blame should be placed at the feet of the Anti Arena crew who held the development up for ransom got their money and lived happily ever after.

Meanwhile those that have been denied employment for the past 5 years or more because the NIMBY'S wanted to protect their right to not have an arena, (just because), are you NIMBY'S willing to either provide jobs for them or give them some of your money?

Are you really concerned about your fellow man or just yourselves, forget it I already know the answer!!!
Sept. 30, 2010, 11:36 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
pretty funny that the pro-Ratner morons are trying to blame Daniel Goldstein for Destroying not Developing Brooklyn.
Sept. 30, 2010, Noon
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
Moron is a term once used in psychology to denote a category of mental retardation.[1] The term was closely tied with the American eugenics movement.[2] Once the term became popularized, it fell out of use by the psychological community, as it was used more commonly as an insult than as a psychological term

Joey I guess you must be a doctor or if not your limited intelligence only allows you to insult people. Facts are facts. As I did not mention any names I guess you really know the deal if the shoe fits
Sept. 30, 2010, 12:37 pm
da editah from Lex-ington Avenue says:
Paragraph 5: Gilmartin or Marshall; who is speaking here?
Sept. 30, 2010, 1:03 pm
FredUp from PHeights says:
Wow, that's some "public" plaza.
Sept. 30, 2010, 1:28 pm
trace from park slope says:
the fascist state agenda advances..Am I surprised Ratner is instrumental in it?
Just don't tase me, bro!
Sept. 30, 2010, 2:12 pm
Kalahari Dessert from On the Way Out Of McBrooklyn says:
So that means that Jay Z, Marty Markowitz and no more than one of the Chinese investors that are going to get a green card by putting $500,000 in Ratner's government-filled pockets can congregate? Are Mexicans going to have to show their green cards on the plaza even if they are solo? Will Jay Z fight for people from Bed Stuy to be treated with respect on the plaza? I doubt it.
Sept. 30, 2010, 5:26 pm
SGreenberg from Boerum Hill says:
So that's what eminent domain really means.
Sept. 30, 2010, 5:42 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Hey, as most of your other constitutional rights have been revoked in NYC, why not freedom of assembly as well. Do you feel safe yet?
Sept. 30, 2010, 6:37 pm
DerekJetah from da Bronx says:
So me and Alex, Robbie and Minka
Can't hang at da Centre, Ratner will make a stinka.
Funny how dat works, in da Bronx us four can congregate,
Or on da Promenade, though Minka's usually late.

In the Hamptons, with The Situation on the Shore --
there ain't no rules about "4 or more'''
How will the crowds get in to the new arena--
One at a time? Huh? Gonna be quite a scene-a!

Sept. 30, 2010, 7:22 pm
what the from f*ck says:
Sounds like most of the crimes are committed by people going solo. It should be illegal to regulate the size of a group allowed at a public plaza.
Sept. 30, 2010, 7:51 pm
StaceY from Downtown bk says:
So if it's a group of 4 or more white kids, will they be told to leave?
Sept. 30, 2010, 8 pm
Ted from Ft Greene says:
Just more of the same racist/classist junk we've come to expect from all things Ratner. Anybody else remember that New York Magazine article back when he announced this land grab where he defended the fact that the Atlantic Center "Mall" (the one with Pathmark) didn't have a real central area because it was near some projects with some rough kids? I know the Sick & Tired Ratner employee will say "And he was right! Look at the crime!" but I haven't seen any figures that the people pulling the crime are local kids. And anyone looking at those pictures Schlock put together for that "plaza" will notice...only one black person total out of a dozen plus slides! Accident or goal?
Sept. 30, 2010, 10:39 pm
Steve from Boerum Hill says:
What a distortion of the Atlantic Center/Mall. When you look at the police crime blotter, there are actually many more crimes committed in Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights than were committed at the Atlantic Center. And if you did the statistical analysis, you would find that the number of crimes as compared to the number of people who enter Target and the rest of the Atlantic Center each day/month is relatively small. Nice job you've done in furthering a myth that is accepted as truth.
Oct. 1, 2010, 10:24 am
Kevin from Kensington says:
They've already kicked people out of their homes.
Why wouldn't they kick people out of the "plaza"
Oct. 1, 2010, 10:56 am
Adam from Brooklyn Heights says:
All hail the police state! What is happening to this city? When did we let the right to free assembly get flushed down the toilet?
Oct. 1, 2010, 11:26 am
Ontario from Canada says:
The space cries out for sculpture and a fountain.
Oct. 1, 2010, 11:36 am
Joe from Crown Heights says:
I have to say the controversy and media attention this policy has generated is entirely predictable. I almost sense they WANT people to get upset and start fuming over this rule - the more coverage this gets them, the better. There are plenty of people out there they are hoping this message reaches - the message that they are going to take a hard line on "disorder" in this plaza. They are looking to attract a lot of affluent families to visit this arena and move into those future condos, and they wont want it to look like Fulton Mall out there. A "police state" is not such an outrage to the prosperous, complacent gentry of the glass towers.
Oct. 1, 2010, 1:52 pm
Gerald from Manhattan Upper West Side says:
Very consistent. UGLY, just like the building!
Oct. 1, 2010, 6:10 pm
Joe from Gowanus says:
with no people hanging out there, the plaza looks like a good place for the sewage retention basin that Ratner promised in his Environmental Impact Statement. can we at least get him to make good on something he promised?
Oct. 1, 2010, 10:33 pm
trace from park slope says:
Joe from Gowanus wins for best comment..Ha! Thanks!
Oct. 3, 2010, 7:48 pm
Dr J from Flatbush says:
At least they wont have to worry about crowds of 3 or more gathering there when the Nyets are playing.
Oct. 4, 2010, 11:44 am
boof from brooklyn says:
who would want to hang out in that exhaust-ridden hell hole anyway?
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:40 am
Bayof from Biscay says:
Plaza, smaza. Could be larger, but at least ain't one of those F'ed up circles blocking access to Proppect Park at Grand Army Plaza and Coney Island Avenue.
Oct. 13, 2010, 10:56 am

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