Skip to main content

Gerges dismisses challenge to condemnation; no barrier to project construction; streets to close March 8

The decision is at bottom.

After a month, Supreme Court Justice Abraham Gerges has dismissed a challenge to the condemnation of property needed for the Atlantic Yards project.

While there are other extant legal challenges, there's no bar to construction, and Forest City Ratner has said it would mobilize large numbers of workers shortly after the decision.

It was followed shortly afterward by a community notice stating that Fifth Avenue between Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues and Pacific Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue and between Vanderbilt and Carlton avenues would close on Monday, March 8.

That's one-week notice; at a community meeting last week, a Department of Transportation official was unwilling to specify how much notice would be needed, while City Council Member Letitia James, a project opponent, asked for two weeks.

ESDC statement

The Empire State Development Corporation issued a statement:
ESDC is pleased with today’s ruling on the Atlantic Yards condemnation hearing by Justice Gerges of the Brooklyn Supreme Court, and is looking forward to moving ahead with a project that will bring an arena, open space, affordable housing, transportation improvements and thousands of jobs to Brooklyn.

The streets condemned by ESDC will be closed as of 6:00 am, Monday, March 8, 2010, giving the community a full 7-days notice in addition to the public notice first issued in early January. ESDC is coordinating with Forest City Ratner Companies and the Brooklyn Department of Transportation to update the relevant message boards and otherwise provide notice to the community. While no formal notice period is required under law, in hearing from the community and working with the Department of Transportation, ESDC believes this additional notice period will help the community prepare for anticipated traffic changes while not overly delaying the commencement of principal construction of this eagerly anticipated project.

In terms of those residents occupying condemned property, ESDC has been and will continue to work with occupants to relocate them and anticipates an orderly relocation taking place over the course of the next few months.
Markowitz statement

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz issued a statement:
“Today’s ruling by Judge Abraham Gerges of the New York State Supreme Court, Kings County affecting the Atlantic Yards development means that the creation of much-needed affordable housing, solid union jobs and permanent employment opportunities for Brooklynites can finally begin—and that our nation’s ‘fourth-largest city,’ Brooklyn, USA, will soon have a national professional sports team and a world-class sports and event facility back in our borough after 53 years! Brooklyn’s shovels are, and have been, ready. So, let’s pick them up and get to work!”
DDDB statement

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn issued a statement:
The property owners and tenants fighting for their rights will be considering all of their legal options in light of today's ruling.

"Several overarching legal and financial issues still plague Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, meaning today's extreme measure by New York State to seize ownership of private property is premature," said Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn legal director Candace Carponter. "There are two pending cases, one just completed briefing, and the other is awaiting a judicial ruling. Either would stop Atlantic Yards dead in its tracks and could impact today's ruling."

"Today is a very sad day to be a Brooklynite. Our state government, long mired in corruption and scandal, has bent over backwards to give Bruce Ratner whatever he wants, including my home, and the homes of other citizens. I am angry with our so-called political leaders who proudly stand by their abuse of power," said Daniel Goldstein a spokesman for Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and a homeowner targeted by New York's abuse of eminent domain for Ratner's benefit. "When the most powerful forces in state government collude with the real estate industry, injustices will happen, and today is a result of that."

"But should we win or lose the fight against Atlantic Yards, there is a bright spot. We are on the road to overturning New York's atrocious and abusive eminent domain laws. Senator Bill Perkins’ proposed legislation will bring much-needed reform to these laws that afford no meaningful protections to communities attacked by greedy developers and their political cronies.

Gerges Decision on Atlantic Yards condemnation 3-1-10

Atlantic Yards Street Closings Community Notice 030110

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …

For Atlantic Yards Quality of Life meeting Sept. 19, another bare-bones agenda (green wall?)

A message from Empire State Development (ESD) reminds us that the next Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life Meeting--which aims to update community members on construction and other issues--will be held:
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 6 pm
Shirley Chisholm State Office Building
55 Hanson Place
1st Floor Conference Room
Brooklyn, NY 11217 The typically bare-bones, agenda, below, tells us nothing about the content of the presentation. One thing to look for is any hint of plans to start a new building on the southeast block of the project by the end of the year.

If not, ESD is supposed to re-evaluate a longstanding request from project neighbors to move back a giant wall encroaching on part of Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues. It's said to enclose construction activity, but, in recent months, has significantly served to protect worker parking.

Also, by the way, if you search for Atlantic Yards on Google or the ESD website, it leads to this page for the Atlantic Ya…