Saturday, March 01, 2008

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.

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.
An interesting scenario could develop if Newark officials desperate for another tenant at the Prudential Center start offering big subsidies.



Blogger The Phantom said...

Newark would make so much more sense for the Nets than the inaccessible ( for most of us ) Meadowlands Arena.

Newark, so easily reached by PATH from NYC, would be a nice transition to Brooklyn. Not in NYC, but almost...

It is very odd in that Newark, with an almost entirely black population, now has only a hockey team, which few of the locals care about. And the Nets, who they might care about, are inaccessible up on some highway.

I don't know if there is any possibility, but once the Atlantic Yards arena ( never, never use those creepy corporate names! ) has been built, they should make a play to get the NY Islanders hockey team. Flatbush Avenue LIRR station is way more accessible than the Nassau Mausoleum!

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you consider that an advantage for the AY opponents when the appeal wasn't supposed to be heard until early 2009 and now it will be heard in September? Yeah, Ratner didn't get May like he wanted, but he did convince the panel to speed up the process. Sounds like you are selling anti-Atlantic yards propaganda to me.

4:10 AM  
Blogger The Phantom said...

Its sad...almost everyone is selling the dog-in-the-manger anti-Atlantic Yards malarkey

Which (I believe) is very much against the wishes of the people of Brooklyn

A number of the usual neighborhood phonies have hyped up opposition to AY in Park Slope and nearby neighborhoods, so that when something beautiful and world-class is built at AY, they will have convinced themselves that something bad has happened, against all evidence.

Its sad, and its on them.

More power to Atlantic Yards. Give me a shovel, I'll donate a couple of days labor if it will get it built sooner

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not Gowanus Lounge propaganda. first off the argument wasn't scheduled for February 2009, that is misinformation.

Second,the "propaganda" is from the mouths of Forest City Ratner and Empire State Development Corporation attorneys:

ESDC attorney Philip Karmel had argued, "Delay in construction would delay completion of the Project, postponing it significant public benefits. It is thus critically important that the appeal be perfected so as to be argued before this Court's customary summer recess."

FCR attorney Jeffrey Braun had written, "The issue presented by ESDC's cross-motion is straightforward: Is the public interest in the Atlantic Yards project of sufficient importance to compel the parties to brief this appeal on an expedited schedule that will allow this Court to hear the appeal this spring? The answer to this question is, resoundingly, yes."

Braun continued, "Petitioners make no commitments as to when they will perfect this appeal. Instead, all that they say is this: Currently, it is anticipated that the appeal will be perfected approximately three to four months after the Notice of Appeal was filed on January 18, 2008."

(That would be, at the latest, May 18, 2008.)

"Even if this equivocal non-commitment is viewed as a commitment, it would mean that, at the earliest, the appeal would be heard by this Court during its September 2008 term, which is approximately seven months from now," Braun stated. "This case should not be treated in such a lackadaisical manner."

So, let's read that together. Plaintiffs planned to file around mid-May. Defendants wanted arguments prior to the summer, and their papers pled for that. The court said plaintiffs have to file in July for September arguments.

Those are the facts. So where is the propaganda?

(briefing quotations above from:

9:44 AM  

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