Architect Frank Gehry is scheduled to unveil a design for a Brooklyn basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday, days after the team reached a deal to dissolve its partnership with the New York Yankees. Gehry, perhaps the world’s most famous living architect, designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, which opened in October.
The architect’s arena design, however, will likely never make it off the drawing board unless real estate developer Bruce Ratner — who hired Gehry — is able to purchase the team and move it out of Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J.
Ratner, president and chief executive officer of Forest City Ratner Companies, is the developer of Brooklyn’s 16-acre MetroTech Center, has made a bid to purchase the team.
On Monday, the Nets and Yankees announced a preliminary agreement to end their YankeesNets partnership. That allows Nets owners Lewis Katz and Ray Chambers to proceed with their plans to sell the club, which reached the NBA Finals the past two seasons.
Besides Ratner, a partnership including developer Charles Kushner and U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., have expressed interest in purchasing the team and keeping it New Jersey.
Charles Wang, the founder of software maker Computer Associates and the owner of the New York Islanders hockey team, was also bidding on the team, but backed out last week. He had hoped to bring the team back to Long Island, where it played in the 1970s.
The team’s lease in New Jersey expires in three years.
The Brooklyn arena would be located at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues in downtown Brooklyn, near a major Long Island Rail Road terminal and a number of city subway lines.
In addition to the arena, the designs are to include plans for new housing and commercial outlets in the area.