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April 21, 2007

Ratner to Go Ahead With Initial Demolitions

Develop Don't Destroy, Brooklyn

Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden today declined to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that would have blocked developer Forest City Ratner from commencing demolitions within the footprint of the “Atlantic Yards” project before the legal challenge to the state’s environmental review and approval of the project, as well as a motion for a preliminary injunction, can be heard in court on May 3rd.

The court expressly stated that in making today's TRO decision it was not pre-judging the merits of petitioners' claims filed on April 5th.

Forest City Ratner plans to commence demolition on nine buildings during the 13 days between today’s decision and the May 3rd hearing.

The 26 plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit against the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA, and the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) applied for the TRO to halt the irreparable harm the demolitions would inflict on the community in the window open until their claims are heard in court.

“We are confident in the merits of our challenge to the state’s approval of the project and that once our claims are heard we will prevail–sending the project back to the drawing board,” said Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) legal team chair Candace Carponter. “It is also clear that as long as owners and renters challenging the state’s right to seize private property by eminent domain succeed in federal court, the project cannot be built. Because of the irreparable harm these demolitions will bring, we call on Governor Spitzer, Mayor Bloomberg and other elected officials to use the ESDC’s funding leverage to halt the demolitions unless the project is proven to be feasible.”

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Posted by amy at April 21, 2007 11:53 AM