"Today's decision is more than another victory for Atlantic Yards," Ratner said. "It is a victory for public good and the importance of investing in diverse communities throughout the City. Atlantic Yards will bring thousands of needed jobs and affordable homes to Brooklyn. We believe, and the courts have repeatedly affirmed, that these are real benefits that will have a significant positive impact on the borough and the City."
Let's assume that Ratner didn't mean that Atlantic Yards would be a "public good"--something commonly enjoyed, like air or national defense--nor that it was an example of "public goodness" but rather thought the decision affirmed "the public good."
Significant positive impact?
But have courts affirmed that the benefits are real and will have a significant positive impact? Not in the slightest. While the courts have affirmed that the plaintiffs acknowledge some benefits, the courts have not tried to evaluate them, nor could they.
Rather, the bar is much lower. As the appellate court stated:
But we hold today that where, as here, a redevelopment plan is justified in reference to several classic public uses whose objective basis is not in doubt, we must continue to adhere to the Midkiff standard, i.e., that the Atlantic Yards Project:
may not be successful in achieving its intended goals. But ‘whether in fact the [Project] will accomplish its objectives is not the question: the [constitutional requirement] is satisfied if . . . the . . . [state] rationally could have believed that the [taking] would promote its objective.’
(Emphasis in original)