Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Eminent domain case speeded up, might be heard in January

Well, the Atlantic Yards state eminent domain case will be heard on a faster track than first envisioned. On September 29, I predicted that final briefs would be due in late February, with a hearing sometime after that. That implied a decision no sooner than May or June.

The state appellate court, however, on its own accord changed the schedule, with the nine petitioners required to file their brief by this Friday, November 28. That means that the defendant Empire State Development Corporation has to respond by December 19 and that the petitioners' reply brief is due December 29.

Decision by March?

While no hearing has yet been scheduled, the timetable leaves open the possibility of a January hearing. And while a decision might come by March, that doesn't mean that Atlantic Yards backers would "get through litigation, some time in March," as New Jersey Nets CEO Brett Yormark said last week.

The losing side--most likely the petitioners, because the case is a long shot--would inevitably file an appeal, which could require several more months. And other litigation may persist or arise.

1 comment:

  1. It will take place in January and likely will result in a decision favoring Ratner in March or more than likely before.

    An appeal will no doubt be filed but it is just as likely to be dismissed as the appeal to the US supreme court was.

    Other likelihoods:

    --with each passing loss--and a deep recession--the number of plaintiffs will decline as Ratner makes deals with them. It's already happened.

    --political support for the project will grow as the city tries to find work for construction unions and symbolic hope for the downtrodden city. It is an election year.

    --the cost of the arena will drop in the next estimate. Construction costs are plummeting, just as they skyrocketed during the boom. The arena's cost will not be a viable issue for DDDB.

    Best wishes.

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