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February 1, 2011

DDDB in court Thursday, seeking sanctions from ESDC/FCR and their lawyers for withholding Development Agreement

Atlantic Yards Report

Remember how, last March, Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman criticized the Empire State Development Corporation's (ESDC) “deplorable lack of transparency” and acknowledged that the ESDC’s use of a ten-year timeframe for the project buildout in the Modified General Project Plan (MGPP) was supported “only minimally”?

And in a decision last November, she criticized the ESDC for withholding the Development Agreement, which gives a 25-year outside date to build the project?

The ESDC, in response, issued findings that it wouldn't make a difference in terms of impact. The two coalitions bringing suit, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and BrooklynSpeaks, may be in court later this month challenging those findings.

Legal costs sought, hearing Thursday

Before then, DDDB, but not BrooklynSpeaks, has filed a motion to require the ESDC and FCR, and their lawyers, "to pay DDDB for the costs of the additional legal work which DDDB's lawyers had to perform because ESDC and FCR improperly withheld a key contract from the court last year."
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The fact that BrooklynSpeaks has not joined the motion suggests that such a tactic, which is on the aggressive side, might not sit well with the judge.

Then again, should the ESDC and FCR get away with the failure to disclose the Development Agreement?

It seems that, so far, they have been unscathed and the longer the case lingers, the less likely a judge would be willing to intervene in construction of the arena and ancillary facilities.
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The Development Agreement, signed 12/23/09, had clearly been delayed. Part of the master closing documents, it was not released until 1/25/10, was six days after a hearing in a case challenging the timetable was heard before Friedman.

It was also about three weeks after the ESDC told me the documents would be made available.

Doesn't that seem a little suspicious?

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NoLandGrab: Actually, it seems a lot suspicious.

Posted by eric at February 1, 2011 10:30 AM