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July 1, 2009

State’s highest court sees some ‘appeal’ in Yards eminent domain case

The Brooklyn Paper
by Mike McLaughlin

In a twist that could be disastrous for Bruce Ratner, New York’s highest court surprised many and agreed to hear an appeal that the state has illegally used its power of eminent domain to spearhead the embattled $4.9-billion Atlantic Yards project.

Previous eminent domain cases have gone well for Ratner, but even if he wins another court battle — this time in the Court of Appeals — he could still lose hundreds of millions of dollars in possible construction and financing delays stemming from another round of litigation.

To qualify for tax-exempt financing that could save him millions, Ratner must begin construction by Dec. 31 on the Barclays Center, now a $772-million basketball arena no longer designed by Frank Gehry. Also on the line is the British bank’s agreement to pay $400 million to have its name on the Nets’ now-generic future home court, another deal that turns into a pumpkin at the end of this year.

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Posted by eric at July 1, 2009 10:01 AM