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July 13, 2011
Atlantic Yards Lawsuit: Local Groups Victorious as Judge Slams Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) For Breaking the Law by Approving Atlantic Yards’ 2009 Modified Plan; Calls Use of 10 Year Build Date “Not Rational"
The BrooklynSpeaks groups were elated and called on Governor Cuomo to investigate the Project. “This decision sends a clear message that no State authority or politically-connected real estate developer can be above the law when the future of our neighborhoods hangs in the balance,” said Jo Anne Simon, Democratic Leader of the 52nd District. “We expect an investigation into how this was allowed and call on Governor Cuomo to now take decisive action in reforming oversight of Atlantic Yards, ESDC’s largest project.”
The suit was filed in November 2009 by several BrooklynSpeaks sponsors, local elected officials, and community members. The case was originally decided in favor of ESDC and FCRC in March of 2010 on the basis of representations made by ESDC as to the terms of its master development agreement with FCRC prior to the agreement being made available to the public. After the agreement was released and was found to contain no performance guarantees for a 10-year build out, the BrooklynSpeaks sponsors successfully argued for the case to be reopened.
Said Al Butzel of the Urban Environmental Law Center which represented the BrooklynSpeaks sponsors, “After reviewing ESDC’s justification for not preparing a supplemental environmental impact statement, the Court correctly concluded the agency lacked a rational basis for approving the developer’s proposed changes to the project. It was clear to us that the approval of the plan was rushed through illegally in order to enable FCRC to meet a deadline necessary for its arena bond financing.”
Posted by eric at July 13, 2011 3:56 PM