It seems Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards boondoggle was getting another lawsuit just yesterday (it was in October, actually -- an appeal by local landholders
whose property is being seized to make the big Brooklyn hole that was supposed to be a sports arena/shopping complex by now even bigger). Now state senator Velmanette Montgomery, assemblyman Jim Brennan, councilmember Letitia James, and a bunch of community groups will contend in court that the Atlantic Yards Modified General Project Plan wasn't properly reviewed by the Empire State Development Corporation
, and that ESDC has in fact "illegally delegated to FCRC much of its governmental power to determine the future content and configuration of the project"...
Lawyer Albert Butzel decries this alleged "incestuous arrangement," and adds, "Atlantic Yards is a terrible project -- out of place, outsized and out of bounds."
Meanwhile the earlier litigants are complaining that the compensation the state is offering for their properties is ridiculously low -- in some cases less than they paid for them years ago, and lower than what Ratner offered them previously, before he obtained the muscle of the government. "They're bank robbers," says Henry Weinstein. Daniel Goldstein, who has been offered $510K for his home, which he bought in 2003 for $590K, is also aggrieved. It's enough to give eminent domain a bad name, if it didn't have such a rotten one already.
It's community activists and free-market conservatives united against a well-connected rich developer! Gee, we wonder who'll win?