Ratner Wins Atlantic Yards Eminent Domain Appeal (Updated)

Bruce Ratner has dodged another bullet. The eminent domain challenge made by landholders in the footprint of Ratner's Atlantic Yard boondoggle has been tossed by the Court of Appeals.

The business- and home-owners are being forced to accept hilariously low amounts of compensation to surrender their property to the developer for the long-delayed arena and shopping-living-working complex. The court ruled 6-1 that the Empire State Development Corporation was within its rights to call the neighborhood in which the citizens worked and lived "blighted" and approved the Kelo-style land grab...

The challenge had been defeated in a lower court and was being appealed. Looks like Ratner was right to be unworried about how the case would turn out.

The Times characterizes this as "The last major obstacle to a groundbreaking," though the plan is also challenged in a lawsuit by legislators and activists on grounds of city planning malfeasance.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, tireless fighters against the project, will hold a press conference on the subject at 12:30 p.m.

Update: DDDB's statement is up, including this from their legal director, Candace Carponter: "It now falls to Governor Paterson to guarantee, through a binding legal contract, which the State would be required to enforce, that all the developer's promises about the project -- including all of the 'affordable' housing and the ten year construction timeline -- are fulfilled. If the Governor is unable to do that, he is duty-bound to abandon this ill-fated project, and start over so the rail yards can be developed properly and realistically."

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