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February 20, 2007

Press Release, DDDB: Wishful Digging

Ratner Prep Work for Atlantic Yards Project Premature
Developer’s Project Not Viable With Federal Eminent Domain Suit Pending

BROOKLYN, NY—Forest City Ratner announced the beginning of preliminary work on the Vanderbilt rail yards and demolition of one building for the developer’s “Atlantic Yards” project in Prospect Heights and Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The prep work is clearly premature, as Forest City Ratner does not own the rail yards necessary to construct the 8 million square foot project and they do not own the properties necessary to build the arena or to demap streets to build high-rise superblocks. That is because 13 of the property owners and tenants who live and work in the project site are in federal court to protect their rights and their properties from government seizure by an abusive use of eminent domain that they allege violates the United States Constitution. The developer’s ownership of the rail yards is contingent upon the outcome of that lawsuit.

“The ’Atlantic Yards’ project as we know it is not viable. The properties Ratner needs to construct the mammoth project's arena and superblock towers, including the rail yards, are in the hands of other private owners and the MTA,” said Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn spokesman Daniel Goldstein. “The prep work Ratner announced today is premature, and a scare tactic used against the eminent domain plaintiff residents and the community fiercely opposed to the project, and as a public relations gimmick intended to convince his investors that work is moving forward. Don't be fooled: while preliminary work on his project can start, Ratner’s ability to move forward and finish the project is under judicial review in federal court.”

Posted by lumi at February 20, 2007 7:53 AM