“We’re so lucky to have found a partner who is impatient, just like we are, and their message to us is let’s get this done,” Ashley Cotton, Forest City Ratner’s vice president for external affairs, said in an interview. “We know our neighbors, we’re sympathetic to whatever experience they’re having, but this is really another enormous milestone on the path of Pacific Park.”
|The buildings in question are on Block 1128, just east of Sixth Avenue.|
Also slated for demolition are buildings on Block 1120, jutting into railyard.
|2006 photo before two buildings at left were demolished|
Five years ago, Atlantic Yards’s most vocal opponent and obstacle, Daniel Goldstein, agreed to walk away from his three-bedroom condominium for $3 million. His building then came down so that Bruce C. Ratner’s arena-and-apartments complex could rise.As Goldstein reminded me, he didn't agree to walk away from his condo, because it wasn't his any more. The state had taken it. He was a tenant, faced with eviction papers. Justice Abraham Gerges then pushed for both parties agree to an eviction date and the "just compensation" law requires, including a premium for a swifter departure.
Campbell's "idiosyncratic terms"
The article states:
Jerry Campbell, one of two homeowners left, must soon hand over the keys to a pair of rowhouses that his grandfather bought in the 1940s and 1960s after emigrating from Barbados. Sitting on a couch inside the tin-ceilinged living room of 493 Dean Street, the larger home, Mr. Campbell insisted he would gladly leave — if only his idiosyncratic terms were met.Indeed, as I wrote, Campbell initially sought a trade that compensated him for the increased development rights to the property, and now simply seeks to get a row house in Prospect Heights.
...When Forest City first approached Mr. Campbell in 2005 — the year after his grandfather died and left the homes to him and some overseas relatives — he countered its offer to buy the property with a swap. Mr. Campbell, who is handling the family’s negotiations, said he suggested Forest City give him 12,000 square feet of space in the 27-story tower that would rise from his lots.
“I said they should make me a junior partner,” he recalled.
The proposal was rejected out of hand, but Mr. Campbell still clings to some kind of trade, rather than a sale.
|Campbell's house at center|
The state's low-ball offers
Both Piller--who, unmentioned, has agreed to leave--and Campbell have received initial compensation offers lower than those presented by Forest City. Chaban writes, in closing:
“We will continue to work closely with the entire community, including the affected residents and businesses, to address and meet their needs and concerns,” said Marion Phillips III, president of the state's Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation.
Both men may not like the state's numbers, but ultimately they may be the ones who miscalculated the situation.
They were party to some of the lawsuits trying to stop Atlantic Yards, but unlike Mr. Goldstein, neither was particularly outspoken about it. Even so, Mr. Campbell said he would have done everything the same way.
“It’s not that I’m anti-Ratner,” he said. “I’m just for myself.”
As the cheering crowds stream by on the way to the arena, he may be the only one.
Second thoughts from the author