It was unclear whether
Stuckey meant shifting the arena or buying out residents.
The sweeping, $2.5
billion Atlantic Yards plan proposes to build a basketball arena for Ratner’s
recently purchased New Jersey Nets and 17 towers over the Long Island
Rail Road storage yards and adjacent blocks emanating from the intersection
of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues and stretching east into Prospect Heights.
Daniel Goldstein, a resident at 636 Pacific St. and a leader of Develop Don’t Destroy-Brooklyn, said he was not involved in negotiations with Ratner, but declined to comment on his neighbors’ negotiations.
“If he is able to remove people from their homes by offering buyout packages, those negotiations were always in bad faith because they always had the threat of state condemnation behind them,” said Goldstein, who testified at Tuesday’s hearings.
Those sentiments were echoed by Patti Hagan, a spokeswoman for the Prospect Heights Action Coalition, a local group also formed to fight the Ratner arena plan.
Asked about why the other almost 300 residents facing eminent domain eviction did not show, Goldstein said, “People have to work.”
Salvatore Perry, an architect who, with his wife, owns an apartment at 475 Dean St., which is also facing condemnation, said his building had not made a deal with Ratner but declined to comment on any ongoing negotiations.
Joel Towers, an urban designer and renter in the building, who testified at Tuesday’s hearing, said the tenants had met with Ratner in January and even had a video conference with architect Frank Gehry, who is designing the arena and surrounding office and residential towers.
While owners are busy negotiating, several renters are worried about what will happen to them.
Zafra Whitcomb, who moved into the building almost five years ago, said he doesn’t know what he will do.
“Ratner is not negotiating with tenants,” Whitcomb said.
©2004 Community News Group
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