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January 9, 2010

Atlantic Yards Report Friday Late Edition

Now available, full hearing video of January 5 state Senate oversight hearing on ESDC and eminent domain

The state Senate has posted a full video of the four-hour-plus hearing held January 5, chaired by state Senator Bill Perkins, on eminent domain, spurred by the Appellate Division's ruling that overturned--for now--the state's use of eminent domain for the Columbia University expansion.


But the video, especially the first hour, is worth a look, since it shows the three ESDC representatives on the spot. General Counsel Anita Laremont, at center, did most of the talking, while Executive VP Darren Bloch, at right, chimed in occasionally, and Executive Director Peter Davidson remained silent.

As the screenshot suggests, both Bloch and Davidson looked (understandably) not-so-comfortable while their agency--which Laremont perhaps more accurately called "my entity"--was on the spot.

As the video shows, Perkins started somewhat unsteadily in his questioning of the ESDC reps, then gained focus, asking persistently about the perception of collusion between the ESDC and project sponsors.

Boymelgreen will be evicted from Pacific Street headquarters owned by Weinstein, but what's next for property?

As Crain's New York Business reported Thursday, "Troubled real estate developer Shaya Boymelgreen" should be evicted from his U.S. headquarters on Pacific Street in Prospect Heights, after landlord Henry Weinstein prevailed in court.

Boymelgreen operated his headquarters in Weinstein's building at 752 Pacific Street and had subleased that property--without Weinstein's consent--to Forest City Ratner, allowing the developer to claim that it controlled more of the Atlantic Yards footprint than it actually did.

Weinstein got the court to nullify the sublease. Then Weinstein tried to get Boymelgreen evicted. In October, before representatives of the sheriff's office could pursue eviction, Boymelgreen's tenants--or perhaps the developer himself--threw a wrench into those plans by trying to push him into bankruptcy. .

Last month, however, a bankruptcy judge ruled that the eviction should proceed, Crain's said.

The bigger question for Weinstein, however, is whether he can stop or stall the Empire State Development Corporation, which seeks to take title to the property in three weeks by eminent domain. He's said he'll fight "tooth and nail," and other condemnees also will resist, though the legal latitude is generally narrow in such cases.

Posted by steve at January 9, 2010 8:55 AM