Another Approval for Atlantic Yards

Posted on: September 17th, 2009 by Mark Ginocchio Comments

The Empire State Development Corporate, the lead agency for the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards Development proposal, formally approved the Modified General Project Plan today. Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, the lead grouping opposing the development and the new Nets arena in Brooklyn has issued a statement saying they are considering new litigation in opposition to this decision.

For weeks, opponents of the Atlantic Yards plan have expected the ESDC to "rubber stamp" the project, despite the fact that the public comments period ended at the end of August without updated renderings being released and once renderings were released last week, they still lacked details of other aspects of the development outside of the Barclays Arena, where the Nets would play.

In their statement, DDDB claims the ESDC needs to undertake a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement before a modified plan can be approved.

"It is unfortunate for the ESDC and Forest City Ratner. Had they done things by the book, by the letter of the law, the project wouldn’t be in such substantial trouble. But they haven’t. And with today’s actions, and no Supplemental EIS, the ESDC is taking irreversible steps that will send Atlantic Yards further into community litigation," DDDB spokesman Daniel Goldstein said. "The likely outcome of today’s actions by the Empire State Development Corporation is that they will be sued."

A hearing before New York state's highest court is scheduled for October 14 where development opponents will challenge the state's use of eminent domain for the project.

Update:

Reuters is reporting that Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia's richest man, is preparing an offer to help the Nets build the Barclays arena while possibly taking "a large stake" in the team. Prokhorov is considering issuing a bond worth about $700 million to help fund the project, according to the report.