BREAKING: Last holdout accepts Ratner’s $3M! He’s out of footprint by May 7

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Daniel Goldstein is now the $3-million man.

After nearly seven years of steadfast opposition to Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards — a personal and political protest that made him the last resident of the project footprint — Goldstein accepted the lucrative offer on Wednesday and will leave the project’s footprint by May 7.

The move comes after he was left with no other options once the state condemned his Pacific Street property via eminent domain last month.

Goldstein paid $590,000 for the three-bedroom unit in 2003 — months before Ratner presented his 16-skyscraper residential, commercial and basketball arena plan that called on the state to evict residents through its condemnation power.

After a long holdout — which left his name as the only one on the buzzer of his six-story building — Goldstein was offered just $510,000 by the state.

But now Goldstein will receive a check for that amount tomorrow — plus the remaining $2,490,000 from Ratner when he, his wife and small child move out.

He said he was relieved, but still personally affronted by the $4-billion mega-project — the subject of years of protest and more than a dozen lawsuits.

“If I’m going to be forced out of my home in quick measure, I’m going to be paid for it,” he said. “Of course, I would rather the neighborhood be restored.”

But Goldstein’s big payday came with caveats — which also apply to his wife.

• He must withdraw from all lawsuits and not file any others against the Atlantic Yards project.

• He cannot actively oppose the project — or as Goldstein explained it, “I can’t lie down in front of the bulldozers, which I wasn’t going to do anyway.”

• He can no longer be the spokesman of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, but will remain a member.

Goldstein’s lawyer, Mike Rikon, explained that the sticking point of during two hours of negotiations on Wednesday in the chambers of Justice Abraham Gerges in Downtown was Ratner’s demand that Goldstein relinquish his right to speak out against the project.

In the end, Ratner backed down because “[Goldstein] would have walked away from any offer if he lost his First Amendment rights,” Rikon said.

Goldstein added that Ratner was motivated to reach a settlement because the developer wanted him to leave his building as soon as possible.

Indeed, lawyers for Ratner had written in a legal filing that further delay would cause “enormous harm” because the property costs $6,700,000 per month and is not generating income, as first noted by the Atlantic Yards Report.

The Goldstein deal comes only two days after project opponents lost their main watering hole, when Freddy’s Bar at Dean Street and Sixth Avenue announced it would be moving to Park Slope after making its own deal with Ratner.

If Freddy’s was the “war room” for opponents, Goldstein was their general — an articulate spokesman and behind-the-scenes player who helped orchestrate numerous protests and legal challenges to the Atlantic Yards.

Now, Goldstein — whose building is in the way of Ratner’s plans to build the Barclays Center to house his Brooklyn-bound Nets — is in the hunt for a new abode.

Ratner executives did not comment by our eminent deadline.

“This money in part has to do with me being given an unreasonable amount of time to leave,” said Goldstein. “It was a very nice home for me. I got married, had a child there — it’s perverse to demolish it. It’s upsetting.”

But, Goldstein added, he could use help on the Brooklyn real-estate market.

“We’re partial to Fort Greene, Park Slope, Prospect Heights,” he said. “If anyone knows of a month-to-month rental, that’s what we’re looking for.”

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Reader Feedback

sid from boerum hill says:
The acquisition costs are reimbursable by the City and guess who paid for this!
April 21, 2010, 5:31 pm
Carly from Park Slope says:
You can criticize him all you want, but three million dollars is a lot of money to a retired homosexual. Where else could he earn money like that?
April 21, 2010, 5:47 pm
Publius from Bklyn Heights says:
Good for Daniel. He fought the good fight, lost, but didn't lose $$$.

The Kelo decision is a national disgrace.
April 21, 2010, 5:59 pm
Dr.J from Bay Ridge says:
What?!?!? Daniel "Benedict Arnold" Goldstein made a deal with the enemy? 7 years of bs press releases mean nothing?

He really doesn't care about the beautiful hole in the ground, after all. The last 7 years have been nothing but a drawn out game of poker. Take the money and run, Danny Boy.
April 21, 2010, 6:05 pm
disappointed from Windsor terrace says:
I guess money does talk! I want my donations back.
April 21, 2010, 8:09 pm
Avi says:
It was all about the money!
April 21, 2010, 8:22 pm
A from Ditmas Park says:
I love the smell of development in the morning.
April 21, 2010, 8:24 pm
Seth says:
The idea that Mr. Goldstein's secret plan was really to spend seven years fighting the mayor, the state and a billionaire developer all to make some money on his condo is one of the more ridiculous I have ever heard.

He has lawyers to pay and was going to be evicted. There is no windfall here.
April 21, 2010, 8:48 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
I really really feel bad for Daniel Grabstein and his family. Hey it was all about the money, ain't a damn thing funny! THank you Bruce. Go Nets!
April 21, 2010, 9:20 pm
Barbara from Clinton Hill says:
How many people would have lived all day and all night under the threat of eminent domain, taunts, lawsuits, rallies, exhaustion and tension with endless fighting all day and all night for 7 years? Dan Goldstein has been heroic for many many people; fighting on when he stood so alone in that building, which was a frightening way to live. Although bitterly sad that the founder of dddb is having to step down, it is the only logical alternative. It is clearly only sensible as the state surely would have given him next to nothing for his seized property. His efforts have been sterling, his commitment without question and the great thanks we all owe to him and his family's courage - may it ring loud and clear. To reveal such corruption in Brooklyn and NY state government, to stand up to such odds, continuously reveals his great courage, tenacity and dedication. Thank you Daniel and thank you to your family and all friends of dddb. I hope somehow that this fight will continue and this story reaches far and wide.
April 21, 2010, 10:07 pm
John O'Hara from Sunset Park says:
Goldstein fought a billionaire in the Brooklyn Courts where a Judge can be bought with a ham sandwhich, which is a shame. In a civilized society, it's our courts that settle our disputes. Goldstein then went to Albany to get our do nothing legislature to act on Eminent domain, like 43 other states did. The State Assembly and Senate used it as an opportunity to hit developers for contributions. Our lawmakers in Albany did nothing.
Now it's all his fault !! He's still standing - and that's what matters. Good Luck Daniel
April 22, 2010, 1:39 am
MUSCLE13 from Brooklyn says:
Atlantic Yards IS HAPPENING! That is all that matters!

Brooklyn Won! Let's Go Brooklyn Nets!
April 22, 2010, 6:16 am
Bayridgite from Bay Ridge says:
To Muscle13 and the rest of you who think this boondoggle is a good idea: BROOKLYN LOST. Look out for your own homes next.
April 22, 2010, 9:59 am
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Take the money & run. Run Daniel Run! All the way to the bank. To all the so-called "Black Political Leaders" who opposed this project & stood up with DDDB to pimped out the poor who wanted the measely jobs, at what will shape up to be an ugly designed arena, (bring back Gehry) I guess you are left holding the bag. An empty one at that! Just imagine if you were able to convince the Community leaders so signed on to the benefit agreement to vote against there community interest, you quite possibly would be running all they way to the bank with Daniel Goldstein & DDDB. As it stands now you "GOt NOTHING!" Your campaign coffers are bare & u bet the $$$developers are looking. You've just lost your pimpdom. No more pimping of the poor for you. Run Daniel run as far from Letita James, she might sue you for some of that settlement. Lol!!
April 22, 2010, 10:11 am
John from Clinton Hill says:
At the end of the day, money talks for EVERYONE! DG did not expose anything. I guess there was never talk about corruption and politics in NY prior to this 7 year dance that my tax dollars will now pay for. Don't be naive. There are no true democracies. Go ahead and erect your statues for this ideologue just as long as it doesn't block the construction.
April 22, 2010, 11:15 am
steve from downtown says:
Goldstein used his abilities to waste a lot of good hard-working people's time and money. He's no hero.
April 22, 2010, 1:51 pm
MUSCLE13 from Brooklyn says:
Nobody will ever remember how long it took. They will just remember Atlantic Yards HAPPENED!

Thank the Good Lord! Hurray for the BROOKLYN NETS!

Go Marty! Go Brooklyn!
April 22, 2010, 2:28 pm
MUSCLE13 from Brooklyn says:
After over half a century without a major professional sports team, Brooklyn will get back ITS RESPECT!

Thank you G-D! Thank you so so much!
April 22, 2010, 2:31 pm
sid from boerum hill says:
hey Muscle its the Nets....not my idea of a winning team.
and "major professional sports teams" and the Nets in the same sentence is almost an oxymoron(and I am not calling you a name)
April 22, 2010, 4:24 pm
Paul from Park Slope says:
You guys can deny it all you want, but a lot of you jumping on Goldstein are either with BUILD, ACORN, out to get Tish James, or getting something on the side for your efforts, and that's not including how many of you are actual Ratner employees or part of the Boro President's staff. Or Joey DePlasco using all his aliases. So...

Read Goldstein's statement on and compare it to the spin job put out by RATner and the media, including this paper.
April 22, 2010, 4:45 pm
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
To Paul from Park Slope. How about the 50% or more folks that live in Walt Whitman, Ingersoll, Lafayette Gardens who are unempolyed or under employed that would have been able to earn a living for the past 7 years, where is their $3,000,000 pay off. No they get a big fat $0 and or are priced out of the neighborhood, what do you or Goldstein say to them? Nothing because all you guys care about is how you are living. No one wants to see anyone loose their home, but folks in the surrounding area are loosing theirs everyday I do not hear Goldstien, you or Tish for that matter speaking up about that. Goldstein played the game and he got what he wanted. But I have a question, dddb a not for profit owes legal fees what happened to all the donations from its many supporters?
April 22, 2010, 5:48 pm
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
What happened to my previous post Brooklyn Papers. Did I use abuse language NO! was I obscene, vular, slanderous, hateful, threatening. The comment count says 21 comments should be 22 if you post this one, it was up then it was down please tell me why?
April 22, 2010, 6:12 pm
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
Apologies the link I had posted from was not showing my post.
April 22, 2010, 6:24 pm
David Brown from LES says:
I have never been able to stand Goldstein, and the so-called "DEVELOP Don't Destroy Brooklyn" (DDDB). They are simply a bunch of NIMBY's who have a legal record that even Moe, Larry, & Curly would find hard to match. The only reason Goldstein got $3,000,000 is because the State and Ratner want to get rid of him, so they can finally get Atlantic Yards built. This exercise in futility was totally unnecessary, and if not for the stall tactics of Goldstein, Freddy's Bar, and the like, this project would have been already completed, and these holdouts would have likely would have had more money (Instead of much of their "Payout" going to attorneys fees).
As for all the people who think that Goldstein is a hero, guess what: Atlantic Yards is still getting built (Like Yankee Stadium was). The reality of the matter is, DDDB, lost case after case in State Court, which ultimately, strengthened the case of the Ratner's and Bloomberg's of the world, who think they are better than anyone else. This fight, is inspiring Bloomberg and his supporters to go after more economic targets such as Willets Point (Although that spot NEEDS to be cleaned up), Coney Island, Greenwich Village (NYU Expansion), Harlem (Columbia University), MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR Police Academy's, and countless other projects (He already was able to get Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island for the City and Battery Park City may be next). This battle helped Bloomberg, Ratner, developers, and lawyers, not average people. Guess what? There is NO Bill Perkins anti-Eminent Domain legislation being passed in 2010 or for quite sometime., so just wait until the Court of Appeals says yes to Columbia University. This really sucks.
April 22, 2010, 6:27 pm
Forgetaboutit! from Brooklyn says:
To those who so easily dispose of Goldstein I'd ask -- what did YOU ever do to try to make your community better? Did you spend SIX YEARS of your life on the front line against the post powerful developer in Brooklyn? Even The Brooklyn Paper gave up the fight last year.

Goldstein could have settled early, but kept fighting to the end.

Finally, Goldstein's fight was literally over. The arena is moving ahead, even if the rest of the project is stalled forevermore. Goldstein would have been forced to move in just a few months -- and because Ratner's such a vindictive SOB who owns the courts and the politicians, Goldstein stood to get screwed royally.

So Ratner pays a premium and Goldstein gets a new life. Ratner can afford it, and Goldstein can use it.

Unlike those who settled with Ratner early on, Goldstein insisted on his dignity. From what I read, he refused to be muzzled. Ratner's standard demand -- that those bought out not speak out against Ratner going forward -- will not apply to Goldstein.

God bless Daniel Goldstein.
April 22, 2010, 6:54 pm
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
To Forgetaboutit, which community do you refer to when you speak? The community Goldstein spoke to are those who have healthy bank accounts and own their own homes, he was not concerned about those who do not have healthy bank accounts and their own homes.

I certainly would not put the word dignity and Goldstein in the same sentence as he has been less then dignified on many occasions. Goldstein held out to get more than the other tenants which by the way you purchase a property a few months before a major development is announced Ummm.

Generations of this community have lived here when that side of Brooklyn was nothing but desolate waste land, when yellow cabs and manhattanites refused to cross the bridge to Brooklyn if they knew it existed at all (1970's,1980's,1990's). So all of you who now want to stand on your soap boxes to dictate everything that happens in this community have no respect for the generations who lived through the crime ridden derelict times that was everyday life in THIS COMMUNITY. So try taking the time to ask the long suffering members of the community what can we do to help you. Mr. Ratner did take the time, still nowhere near perfect but at least if the CBA is adhered to hats off to him!!!
April 23, 2010, 12:27 am
Ott says:
disappointed from Windsor terrace says:

You are an idiot.

Donations for what? Try getting donations back for any other cause you pretended to donate or believe in. Every candidate you ever supported has won? Doubtful.

You suck.
April 23, 2010, 1:08 am
Ott says:
Funny how the most vitriolic posts come from a site where you don't have to post your name or identity. You are all a disappointment to Brooklyn.

Who do you think is going to move in? RICH folks.

If you think this guy did this for his health or some self righteous reasons, you clearly have never believed in anything in your life. A sad lot.

I'd stand by Goldstein any day. You chaps sadly have quite literally no integrity.
April 23, 2010, 1:11 am
Ott says:
How about the Russian Oligarch?
How about Bertha "Six Figure" Lewis?
How about Jay z?
How about the Richest man in the country Mr. Bloomie.

Get over yourselves, you don't know even know this guy, you are like little teenagers reading a gossip rag, commenting on people and things you know nothing about.

Go back to your Ratner cubicle. You are the sell outs.

God? Really? You are thanking God for a soiled arena and luxury housing?
April 23, 2010, 1:14 am
Steve Nitwitt from Sheepshead Bay says:
Norm needs a new subject to write about!
April 23, 2010, 2:55 am
DT from Park Slope says:
I'm proud of the small amount of money I gave to DDDB. In fact I wish I had given more. This is and always has been a terrible project. The rail yards were a fantastic land asset that could have been used for much better things. Unfortunately this part stretch of Brooklyn will remain scarred for the foreseeable future.
April 23, 2010, 5:58 am
Forgetaboutit! from Brooklyn says:
To "Sick and Tired":

Granted, Goldstein was not always the most "dignified" of leaders. But what are we comparing him to -- the thugs of mouth for Ratner? Just about everyone else (except the Brooklyn Paper and Tish James) ran scared.

As for rich man versus poor man -- give me a break!

Ratner is a multi-billion dollar real-estate man with everyone in his pocket. Goldstein's pretty much an ordinary guy.

Poor people couldn't afford the $600,000 Goldstein paid for his apartment to begin with, and they can't afford the $1,000,000 or so commanded for many apartments in the area now.

Ratner's moving ahead to build a basketball arena -- whatever housing may eventually rise on the site will overwhelmingly be for rich people; to anyone who believes Ratner's going to prioritize his $4-billion buildout so poor folks have a place to live, I'd say you have a wonderful imagination!

The CBA, in reality, means nothing. Ratner will buy his way out of any commitment (ie, so-called "affordable" income housing) that does not maximize his profits.
April 23, 2010, 7:44 am
al pankin from downtown says:
why did it take all these years for them to come to their senses? we now have goldstein paid off, and brooklyn with a watered down project...crazy
April 23, 2010, 10:59 am
sid from boerum hill says:
and what constituency voted for it? there was NEVER a vote by any legislative body on the Atlantic Yards. The state(and the three men in a room) took it over with the Mayors blessing so it wouldn't have to go through the ULURP process that requires in the end a vote by the City Council. It would have passed BUT not in its present form. It would have been much smaller with a specific required low cost housing based on an accepted formula. There is no guarantee that the "low cost"-affordable housing will be such. and Berta Lewis of ACORN lineage is in no position to enforce anything. She is too beholding to the developer.
If built as originally planned it would have been the densest census tract in the US! Its twice(about)more dense than battery park city!
I don't oppose the Arena but I do want a reasonable amount of really affordable housing. Is that bad? Does it mean I disagree with the Mayor- you bet I do. Dan Goldstein raised all these issues. Sometimes he was obnoxious. Sometimes he wasn't. If that is the measure the third term Mayor is the same. Yes Goldstein wasn't elected but he did his best and was told by the judge settle this or he settled. leave him alone...he didn't hurt you anyway.
April 23, 2010, 11:51 am
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
To Forgetaboutit, I am not comparing Goldstein to Ratner I am comparing Goldstien to the generations of folk who have lived in NYCHA housing developments or private rented apartments who you are right could not afford the $600,000 Goldstein paid for his apartment.

I notice you have no comment on what to do for those who suffered through the lean times and are still suffering now. Where is your voice for them?

As for the CBA that's where I would have thought that Tish Councilwoman/lawyer should have focused her energies to ensure it was as iron clad as possible. You cannot negotiate from the outside. If you have an issue that you want to address how does posturing from the outside put you in a position to get things changed. What did her opposition accomplish it's still going to be built. Meanwhile the less fortunate members of her district have been denied the opportunity of employment by the 7 year delay.

The success of a community depends on all the parts of the community being able to put food on the table, not just a select few.
April 23, 2010, 12:43 pm
Flatbush Basketballer from Flatbush says:
Glad to hear that Moneystein the parasite has caved in.

He doesn't represent Brooklyn and now that all of his future neighbors know what his bank account reflects, he will live in fear every time he walks the street.

That weirdo will most likely squander his money within the next 10 years as his lawyers take their massive cut, his wife leaves him with her winnings, and as he gets sued by his fellow DDDB cohorts.

He will be on welfare before his kid hits high school.

Enjoy your Blood Money and Good riddance.
April 26, 2010, 2:32 pm

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