Tuesday, March 09, 2010

For Goldstein, Pacific Street is a "cage" and an unofficial eviction letter is, according to his attorney, an "attempt to intimidate"

Things are getting truly strange for Daniel Goldstein, spokesman for Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, who with his wife and child is the only resident left on Pacific Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Goldstein lost his condo to condemnation last week and his street and two others were closed and made private.

Now that his street is closed to traffic--permanently at Fifth Avenue, and via guarded barriers at Sixth Avenue, anyone visiting Goldstein must provide advance notice, which means friends have been stopped by guards and kept him on the phone today with representatives of both Forest City Ratner and the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), which owns his property.

(The Post headlined its blog coverage State 'cages' key Atlantic Yards holdout.)

Letter from the state

Goldstein on March 4 received a letter (below) from Charles Webb, ESDC Condemnation Counsel, informing him that "ESDC requires you to relocate by April 3, 2010 (thirty days after the date of this letter) so that development plans for the Atlantic Yards Arena and Redevelopment Project... may proceed."

He also was told by his landlord that no improvement or alterations are allowed, nor are sublets or other occupants. And he must pay rent, beginning April 1--for three days?

His use and occupancy charges are in the amount of his former condominium common charges: $534.36 per month.

Lawyer's response

Goldstein's attorney Michael Rikon (disclosure) responded forcefully (below), on behalf of Goldstein and other footprint property owners, calling Webb's letter "an attempt to intimidate our clients":
First, you have absolutely no right to inform anyone that they must vacate by April 3, 2010. You must understand that condemnees have the protection of New York's Eminent Domain Procedure Law. You cannot even suggest a vacate date until you comply with the requirements of the law.
Those requirements include a notice of acquisition and a good faith advance payment. Then the date to vacate would be set by the condemnation court.

He added that "no roadway or access to a street or highway may be interfered with."

The Post reported that Goldstein "plans to stay at least through the summer"--which might be an increasingly challenging experience as construction moves forward.

Also unresolved is the value of his property. While Goldstein in 2003 paid $590,000 for a 1290 square foot apartment, the state has offered only $510,000, less than half (on a square foot basis) of what Ratner offered four years ago.

March 04 Webb Letter
March05RikonLetter

No comments:

Post a Comment