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Remember the great and mighty uproar that occurred upon no one being surprised that Frank Gehry was getting kicked off the Atlantic Yards project? The one that helped create the vicious Kansas City vs. New York City feud? Although those initial fires have subsided, there’s some new news surrounding the project, with the NY Observer learning that the developer, Forest City Ratner, has brought in a local architecture firm, SHoP, to lend Ellerbe Becket (the group that took over the project) a hand. The Observer couldn’t find out how long SHoP has been involved with the project, but read-between-the-lines speculates that this could have been done to fight off some of the bitterness after the Gehry firing and as the developers prepare to unveil the new plans for the new Nets arena and surrounding buildings later this month. Here’s a bit:

While certainly not the starchitect that is Mr. Gehry, SHoP is something of the hot local architectural firm these days — a relatively young practice that designs often iconic buildings with highly distinctive exteriors and skins. Last year the would-be developers of a new South Street Seaport tapped SHoP to design a remake of the area, and the Bloomberg administration turned to SHoP to design its new East River waterfront esplanade.