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March 12, 2007

Rent-stabilized tenants' case to be heard tomorrow

Atlantic Yards Report

The “other” set of Atlantic Yards plaintiffs—13 rent-stabilized tenants challenging the condemnations of two buildings—will get their day in State Supreme Court Tuesday following an exchange of contentious legal memos between their lawyer, George Locker, and lawyers for the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC).

The plaintiffs live in buildings on Dean and Pacific streets now owned by Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner. Rather than apply for demolition via the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), as is generally required for buildings with rent-regulated tenants, in this case, the developer will convey the properties to the ESDC. Then the ESDC would exercise its powers of condemnation in a much faster process than had DHCR been involved.

The demolitions would be “friendly condemnations,” given that the owner doesn’t object, but the tenants don’t consider them friendly.

Norman Oder is the only reporter who has been able to take the time to explain that tomorrow's hearings only concern a motion to dismiss, and to summarize the two main arguments (one of which would break new legal ground) and the challenge over which court should hear the case.

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Posted by lumi at March 12, 2007 9:01 AM