Today a Federal court dismissed the lawsuit against the government’s use of eminent domain to seize properties and turn them over to developer Bruce Ratner for construction of the Atlantic Yards mega-development project. The lawsuit was an appeal of an earlier decision, brought by 14 homeowners, business owners and tenants who live and work in the future development footprint.
In a statement, the plantiffs’ attorney Matthew Brinckerhoff said, “Today’s decision is disappointing. We disagree with its conclusion. We intend to ask the US Supreme Court to hear our case, and will continue to pursue every avenue available to prevent the unlawful seizure of my clients’ homes for Bruce Ratner’s enrichment.”
However, according to The Real Estate, “The rejection leaves opponents with few legal avenues left, as the appellants on the lawsuit would need a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to merely be granted a trial in the case, let alone to come out victorious. Critics had said they put their highest hopes at the federal appellate level, and have previously conceded that it was unlikely the Supreme Court would take the case (the court only hears a few dozen cases a year).”
For now, it seems the best hope for the demise of Atlantic Yards may be Bruce Ratner’s widely reported financing troubles. However, on Wednesday, the City Council denied an attempt by Brooklyn politicians to cut Ratner’s millions of dollars in public subsidies. Brownstoner has a list of the demolitions expected inside the footprint over the next few weeks.
Image of anti-eminent domain message on Prospect Heights building via Daily Heights.