A state Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed an attempt by tenants in Bruce Ratner’s rent-stabilized units in the Atlantic Yards footprint to bring their lawsuit against the developer to the Court of Appeals — but the tenants’ lawyer promised at least another year’s worth of litigation.
It was the second court victory of the week for Ratner and his 16-skyscraper-and-arena mini-city slated (see main story on page 1), but the tenants’ attorney George Locker was undeterred.
“We will pursue every legal remedy and challenge,” he said.
Meanwhile, Forest City Ratner Companies crowed.
“This is the second time in less than a week that the courts have decided in favor of the Atlantic Yards project,” Bruce Bender, a company vice president, said in a statement.
This is just the latest setback for the tenants, who live in two Ratner-owned, rent-stabilized buildings at 473 Dean St. and 634 Pacific St.
In October, another state court dismissed the tenants’ appeal of the case, which argues that Ratner and the state improperly terminated their leases.
“Ratner is doing an end-run around the state rent-stabilization laws,” said Locker at the time.
Under those laws, according to Locker, a landlord who wants to cancel rent-stabilized leases must go through a process overseen by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal.
But Ratner did not need to go through that time-consuming process, according to the Empire State Development Corporation, which is overseeing the development of Atlantic Yards, because his plan is to transfer the buildings to the state, which will then condemn the properties and turn them back to Ratner.
Locker claims the tactic sped up the removal of his clients from their homes by “at least two years.”
©2008 Community News Group
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