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Forest City names new architect for Brooklyn arena

NEW YORK, June 4 (Reuters) - Developer Forest City Ratner Companies FCEa.N and architect Frank Gehry on Thursday said they had parted company for a planned basketball arena in the New York borough of Brooklyn.

Forest City Chairman Bruce Ratner blamed the recession.

“The current economic climate is not right for this design, and with Frank’s understanding, the arena is undergoing a redesign that will make it more limited in scope,” said Ratner in a joint statement with Gehry.

Gehry will be replaced by the Minneapolis-based architectural firm Ellerbe Becket, whose new designs for the arena could be unveiled by late June.

The Nets basketball team, now located in New Jersey, could move to Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center by the 2010 to 2011 season, Ratner said.

Gehry, whose titanium design for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, was widely praised, also devised the Brooklyn project’s master plan. “While there are always regrets at designs not realized, we greatly appreciate our ongoing relationship with Bruce and his team,” Gehry said. (Reporting by Joan Gralla; editing by Leslie Adler)