Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hearing at 9:30 am on "writ of assistance" sought by ESDC to compel Goldstein family and two businesses to leave

Daniel Goldstein and his family are the last residential tenants facing eviction in the Atlantic Yards footprint, as the others have settled, according a statement issued by Forest City Ratner yesterday and picked up by the New York Daily News and the Brooklyn Paper.

The seven households either will get apartments in “the first new residential building at Atlantic Yards” or, on average,$80,000, plus $5,000 to assist with relocation, according to a statement from FCR executive MaryAnne Gilmartin.

Hearing this morning

That leaves Goldstein and two businesses--Pack It Away Storage and Henry Weinstein's office building and adjacent lots--to challenge the Empire State Development Corporation's motion at the condemnation hearing this morning.

It will be held before state Supreme Court Justice Abraham Gerges at Kings County Supreme Court, 320 Jay Street, 17th Floor, beginning at 9:30 am (and there's usually a considerable wait to get through security).

Accelerated schedule

The ESDC seeks a "writ of assistance" to compel the remaining condemnees to leave the Atlantic Yards footprint by May 17 under threat of eviction.

That's a rather accelerated schedule for eminent domain cases, given that Gerges's opinion was issued March 1, and, as I reported yesterday, the state has both low-balled Goldstein on the value of his condo and shown him apartments that are both much more expensive and with some serious drawbacks.

The Daily News reported:
Lawyer Mike Rikon, who represents Goldstein and the storage company, said it was rare to seek evictions so soon after property is condemned - and charged that officials are trying to punish Goldstein for his vocal opposition to the project.

"I've been practicing eminent domain law exclusively for 41 years and I've never seen this," Rikon said. "There is no question it's vindictive and mean."

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