Two more holdouts are standing in Bruce Ratner’s way at Atlantic Yards, except in this case, the developer doesn’t want to evict them, he just wants them to let him onto their properties in order to do a little underground construction work.
According to the Daily News, the state is taking two Atlantic Avenue businesses — museum and trade show shop Global Exhibition Services and a Storage Mart — to court to force them into letting Ratner install underground steel cables known as tie-backs beneath their buildings, a necessary step for finishing the Carlton Avenue bridge portion of the project.
The businesses have thus far rebuffed Ratner’s efforts for fear of property damage, but the state is arguing that eminent domain would allow it to condemn the properties if it had to in order to get the work done.
Thomas Bonacuso, a Forest City Ratner executive, said “the results would be devastating” and cost “many millions of dollars” if the tie-backs installation were to be delayed, and would likely “prevent the [Barclays Center] arena from opening on schedule” in the fall of 2012.
Joshua Rikon, an attorney for Global Exhibition Services, said eminent domain laws don’t cover the kind of access the state is demanding and that the move reflects “poor planning” on Ratner’s part.
He may want to pick his battles, though: in just a few years’ time the state could seek to seize that property anyway when Ratner moves onto the next phases of the Atlantic Yards mega-project. [NYDN]