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June 7, 2011

Businesses opposed to Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project dragged to court

NY Daily News
by Erin Durkin

The state has dragged two Atlantic Ave. business owners into court to force them to let developer Bruce Ratner onto their property for construction work on his Atlantic Yards project.

The businesses are resisting, saying they fear property damage - but Ratner warns that shutting him out could delay the opening of the new Barclays Center arena.

OK, and how is that the property owners' problem?

Drew Tressler, president of Global Exhibition Services, which has been making museum and trade show exhibits at the Atlantic Ave. shop for 35 years, said he won't allow the developer to install underground steel cables known as tie-backs. He's afraid it could damage his building.

"Our building is concrete, and I really don't know what long-term effect the drilling will have on it. Concrete is brittle," he said.

Tressler said he's already dealing with noise and congestion from the project and he doesn't need any more headaches. He added the work could block him from renovating the building with new plumbing or a subbasement.

"I don't understand this," he said. "It's certainly not going to help me....I think it would bother any business owner."

The state is also suing Storage Mart, whose owners could not be reached for comment.

Ratner executive Thomas Bonacuso said the work is necessary to finish the Carlton Ave. bridge - which legal agreements say must be done before the arena can open.

"Delay in completion of work would also prevent the arena from opening on schedule" in fall 2012, Bonacuso wrote.

"The results would be devastating," he added, adding it would cost the developer "many millions of dollars."


NoLandGrab: Maybe Forest City should have thought about that before they ignored working on the bridge for a couple years once they tore it down.

Related coverage...

Curbed, Revenge of the Megaprojects

Today in Atlantic Yards opposition, the state has taken two Atlantic Avenue businesses to court because they've refused to let Bruce Ratner onto their properties for arena-related construction. One store owner has denied the developer's request to put in underground steel cables because he's worried about building damage. The developer, meanwhile, says the opposition could delay the arena opening. An argument we're sure will work well on the businesses' owners, since their properties are in line for state seizure when it's time for AY's next phase.

The Real Deal, Still more Atlantic Yards holdouts crimping Bruce Ratner's style

Joshua Rikon, an attorney for Global Exhibition Services, said eminent domain laws don't cover the kind of access the state is demanding and that the move reflects "poor planning" on Ratner's part.

Posted by eric at June 7, 2011 1:36 PM