Atlantic Yards Eminent Domain Fight Back in Court


Photo by ThreeCee via Flickr

A handful of Brooklyn property owners and longterm renters who are trying to stop developer Bruce Ratner from using eminent domain to take their property will have what could be their final shot in court on Tuesday.

Beloved Dean Street watering hole, Freddy’s Bar and Backroom and twelve other plaintiffs, both businesses and residents, will have another chance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in Manhattan on Tuesday after a district court judge in Brooklyn dismissed their lawsuit in June.

The plaintiffs are arguing that developer Bruce Ratner’s use of eminent domain for the $4 billion basketball arena and condo project is unconstitutional because it may benefit Ratner more than it does the public good.

The plaintiffs argue that if the case should be allowed to move forward because the discovery portion of the lawsuit would reveal without question whether the process was skewed toward Ratner from the start. “Although nobody (except Defendants) knows whether discovery will reveal still more evidence that the taking of Plaintiff’s properties is animated by unconstitutional motive, there can be no doubt that discovery should proceed,” the plaintiffs argue.

As usual, Norman Oder has a trenchant analysis of the underpinnings of the case in the Atlantic Yards Report.