Yards foes win a big case that will not likely change a thing

The Brooklyn Paper
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The state agency overseeing the Atlantic Yards mega-development purposefully withheld information on the project’s timetable to avoid having to reexamine the project’s negative impacts, a judge ruled on Tuesday in what appears to be a meaningless victory for foes of Bruce Ratner’s project.

The ruling by Judge Marcy Friedman is unlikely to delay the project, as Tuesday’s finding merely ordered the Empire State Development Corporation to see whether a new “environmen­tal impact statement” is warranted — a document that opponents have consistently decried as a “sham” anyway.

Still, opponents were glowing over their first major court victory in the seven-year saga to block Bruce Ratner’s 22-acre, 16-tower mini-city sprawling east from the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues.

“[The Court’s decision] has laid bare the pattern of lies and deception by ESDC and [Ratner] that underlie this project,” said Candace Carponter, the legal director for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, which has opposed the development.

Specifically, Friedman sternly reprimanded the ESDC for only analyzing the impact of Ratner’s long-discarded 10-year construction timetable rather than the current 25-year buildout — one that remains in doubt because of the economy. The obfuscation, Friedman said, “appears to be yet another failure of transparency on ESDC’s part.”

Project opponents have said that the ESDC intentionally did not analyze the longer timetable because a true analysis would reveal that the project will create the blighted conditions that the state said Ratner’s project would remedy.

“The record … lacks any expert opinion or analysis of the impact of a potential 25-year delay in completion of the project,” wrote Friedman in her ruling.

A spokeswoman for the ESDC merely said the agency was “reviewing today’s ruling, which does not enjoin construction taking place on the Atlantic Yards project.”

The Barclays Center, which is the first piece of the Atlantic Yards puzzle, is already rising and is expected to be completed in time for the 2012-13 basketball season.

An adjacent residential building is in the planning phase, but the rest of the project is on hold until the economy improves.

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Reasonable discourse

Steve Nitwitt from Sheepshead Bay says:
Norm at Atlantic Yards Report is sure to say your headline is wrong. And no quote from Danny G? WTF?
Nov. 10, 2010, 2:51 am
Winthrop from Park Slope says:
What "the critics" (is that the way you're referring to the community these days?) called a sham was the EIS process as twisted by the ESDC. And now a judge has agreed. And you conveniently left out that the judge was more than stern: she railed about how the ESDC deliberately withheld information from the court!

I know it has to be rough for the MurdochPapers to have to write anything critical of this Ratner boondoggle and its litany of corruption, but there was a time the BrooklynPapers was up for a Pulitzer for their coverage of this disgusting land grab. But that was a previous owner, and editor, and staff.

Go, Community!
Nov. 10, 2010, 6:07 am
al pankin from downtown says:
this is more of rehashed trash..the complex is being built, these folks should just get a life and find something else to took too long to get this project going. that area was a slum for fifty years...Bruce Ratner should get a medal for sticking it out.
Nov. 10, 2010, 6:14 am
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:

DDDB where are you? They are destroying Coney Island. Or is DDDB only for Prospect Heights?? They are destroying Brooklyn out there.
Nov. 10, 2010, 6:29 am
pher from Prospect Heights says:
Let's keep in mind that the reason ESDC didn't do a supplemental EIS when they renegotiated the project with Ratner is because to do so would have delayed the project closing past the end of 2009, and Ratner's ability to issue tax-exempt bonds would have evaporated. That would certainly have killed the project--none of the subordinate taxable debt on Atlantic Yards was ever able to be sold.

The judge caught the ESDC playing fast and loose with the law, and lying to the Court. The ruling yesterday is only the beginning.
Nov. 10, 2010, 6:48 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
I think Cuomo is in Ratner's pocket also.
Nov. 10, 2010, 12:16 pm
David from Park Slope says:
These people really need to wake up and find something else to do.. ITS ENOUGH ALREADY! DDDB is one of the phoniest organizations I have ever heard of. First they delay the project for seven years cause of their head scam artist Daniel Goldstein, when it could have been built by now with the original Environmental Impact Statement, and now they want a changed one as the whole project plan had to be changed because of their NIMBYISM. Look around and see how much this area is already progressing because of the arena coming through under construction. Other cities could only beg for a project like this. The housing will get built, lay off DDDB!
Nov. 10, 2010, 2:13 pm
Lizzie from Park Slope says:
David I agree, and no matter what anyone says or rules, I believe this project will still come underway. They have invested so much money and time into it, it would be a shame to just delay any construction further because of community activists who cant find anything better to do with their lives. While their are jobs on the line here to be created, they should go put their time worth something that would actually benefit the community!
Nov. 10, 2010, 2:20 pm
Lizzie from Park Slope says:
Woops, meant to replace their with "there" after While. Don't want to be called out on that one
Nov. 10, 2010, 2:23 pm
trace from park slope says:
Why do people like David and Lizzie support enourmous and singular profits of the wealthy? dont' you understand that the EIS process, as flawed as it is, is ALL WE GOT against stupid developers?
We need to ensure the EIS process is at least followed - that is HARD ENOUGH! And it is generally CRAP anyway...But it, as I said, is ALL WE GOT AGAINST the big boys..
This is a huge setback for Ratner..An EIS can cost him 1 mil..
Thank god for judges, and their a-political readings.
Nov. 10, 2010, 4:19 pm
Tyrone from East ny says:
Look the DDDB need to just quit and get a life. All they trying to do is to prevent the project from rising. Get a life people. Let ratner wishes come true and that is by creating jobs and to bring back sports to brooklyn where it should be. Brooklyn nets im ready for 2012.
Nov. 12, 2010, 2:32 am
Norman Oder says:
It's curious that the Brooklyn Paper can so confidently assume that this is a "meaningless victory." The day after the decision, an executive from Forest City Enterprises, the parent company of developer Forest City Ratner, was somewhat unnerved as he discussed the decision. He didn't call it "meaningless."
Nov. 12, 2010, 5:45 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Those that are slandering or feeling apathetic for DDDB are the real ones who needs to get a life. If their continued efforts are so unimportant, then why give them the time of day? Why don't you guys do something more productive with your time rather than naysaying them? I can name several things you can do right now such as go find a spouse, clean out your closets and attics of junk, or even just go update your fantasy sports teams. Menawhile, I am happy that there was a judge who understands what is really going on. DDDB represents those who are the victim of the abuse of eminent domain and corporate welfare. Please remember that one day, a developer(s) can go after your property next, and I am sure none of you would like it if someone slandered or acted apathetic towards you for defending your property when they want you out of there. Try walking in someone else's shoes for once before saying something about them that might not be true.
Nov. 14, 2010, 4:41 pm
Steve Nitwitt's conscience says:
Sorry about that. I know I'm paid to act like a jerk, but I just reread what I wrote.
July 16, 2011, 6:50 am

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