An Atlantic Yards Case Won't Be Heard Until September
Opponents of the Atlantic Yards project got nowhere in court trying to get an injunction to block the demolition of the Carlton Avenue Bridge but gained a procedural advantage yesterday. An appeal of a lower court's decision against the challenge to the Atlantic Yards Environmental Impact Review process won't be argued until September. The decision was issued yesterday afternoon. (For those having a hard time keeping track, there is a separate case concerning eminent domain that is being appealed to the US Supreme Court.)
Forest City Ratner had argued for an expedited hearing, as early as May, but an appellate court ordered documents filed by July and a hearing held after Labor Day. The decision means a delay until fall or winter for any decision and any final resolution of this particular case (assuming a decision goes against the opponents). Atlantic Yards Report concludes the "best case scenario" for the Nets to play in Brooklyn arena would now be the 2011-12 season. Here is scenario as laid out by Norman Oder, whose knowledge of Atlantic Yards is encyclopedic:
It's not clear how much the timetable has been pushed back. It might take two years to build the arena, once construction starts, but it would be unwise to open the arena until bridges around it have been reconstructed, a three-year process likely not complete until January 2011.An interesting scenario could develop if Newark officials desperate for another tenant at the Prudential Center start offering big subsidies.
In a best-case scenario, a ruling on behalf of the defendants next fall or winter, would have to be coupled with the U.S. Supreme Court's unwillingness to hear a challenge to the eminent domain case, as well as a dismissal of the emiment domain plaintiffs' effort to bring the case to state court. That would have to be followed by condemnation proceedings to acquire remaining property and those buildings would have to be demolished...In other words, the 2011-12 season in Brooklyn may now be the realistic best-case scenario for the opening of the Barclays Center, leaving the Nets three more years in the Izod Center, where crowds have been sparse.
Could Bruce Ratner and fellow team owners be thinking a bit harder about the option of moving--at least temporarily--to the Prudential Center in Newark? It would cost them a significant penalty as of now, but state officials in New Jersey, thinking they might have a chance of keeping the Nets, might be amenable to negotiation.
Labels: Atlantic Yards