Court upholds AY eminent domain ruling

From left: Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner Companies and Atlantic Yards project opponent and homeowner Daniel Goldstein

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Eminent domain has prevailed once again for Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project in a New York State Supreme Court ruling today that clears the way for construction to begin on the Nets’ new Barclays Center arena. According to the ruling, by Judge Abraham Gerges, the state can seize properties in the way of the project because the 14 claims brought forth by opponents of the plan had no “merit.” Among the claims: that the state has not explicitly said the land slated for condemnation will be used for the public and that the project plan had been illegally modified. The ruling means that properties including the Dean Street building that houses Freddy’s Bar and the home of outspoken project opponent Daniel Goldstein, will be condemned. Ratner has said he needs those properties immediately in order to proceed with construction. Gerges’ ruling upholds a decision by the state’s Highest Court last fall to allow the state to utilize eminent domain in seizing the land for Atlantic Yards. “Brooklyn’s shovels are, and have been, ready,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, in response to today’s ruling. “So, let’s pick them up and get to work!” [Brooklyn Paper]