Court dismisses AY eminent domain case, clearing the way for Ratner

November 24, 2009 10:02AM

The New York Court of Appeals cleared the way this morning for developer Bruce Ratner to move forward with plans for his $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project, dismissing opponents’ claims that the state had misused eminent domain laws in securing land for the development. The decision may come just in the nick of time for Ratner, who needs to make a Dec. 31 deadline if he is to receive tax-exempt status on $600 million in bonds for the new 18,000-seat New Jersey Nets arena he’s building at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue. In addition to the arena, Ratner has plans for 16 high-rise towers nearby on the 22-acre lot, with up to 6,430 apartments. While the eminent domain case was likely the last major obstacle Ratner would have to clear before beginning construction, he is facing a slew of other lawsuits, including one filed by some 20 community advocacy groups last month contending that the Empire State Development Corporation and Ratner’s Forest City Companies planned to circumvent the project’s governing document and were refusing to submit a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. [NYT]