Even as lawsuits delay construction, demolition on Dean Street creates facts on the ground (and blight)
Soon enough, 489 Dean Street, another structurally sound row house will be demolished. Then what? Forest City Ratner will have to wait. The owners of the building just to the east are plaintiffs in the pending eminent domain case, and the owner of the adjoining two buildings has not, as far as I know, been negotiating with the developer.
In a best-case scenario, it could take many months for the Empire State Development Corporation to prevail in court and then to pursue eminent domain, so Forest City Ratner could clear the land, destined to become a staging area for arena construction, should it ever begin, and later a tower nearly seven times taller than current structures, at 272 feet.
Why now? Why blight?
So why bother to demolish the buildings? Because they can. Surely it creates pressure on the neighbors--who likes living next to a demolition site and empty lot? And to some, at least, it creates facts on the ground, a situation that must be remediated by action.
In the short term, however, and perhaps in the long term, it's compounding blight, not--as is one of the stated goals of the Atlantic Yards project--removing blight.