Had the ESDC disclosed the terms of the Development Agreement that were being negotiated when the petitions were initially heard, or brought the Agreement to the court’s attention promptly after it was executed... the balance of the equities may have favored a stay..."
—New York State Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman*
BrooklynSpeaks sponsors file response to ESDC and FCRC appeal of court order to revisit 2009 modified project plan
BROOKLYN, January 14, 2012: On Friday, January 13, BrooklynSpeaks sponsors filed legal documents in response to an appeal by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) of a July 2011 court decision ordering further environmental review of the Atlantic Yards project. The decision came after nearly two years of litigation by BrooklynSpeaks’ sponsors, local elected officials and community members, which challenged ESDC’s 2009 approval of changes to the General Project Plan which increased the duration of project construction from 10 to 25 years. The brief was filed in conjunction with Develop Don’t Destroy (Brooklyn), petitioners in a similar case covered by the July decision.
“ESDC and FCRC have, in effect, asked the court to believe that when the agency approved increasing the construction duration from 10 to 25 years, it didn’t expect the developer would actually use the extra time,” said Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, a petitioner in the case. “The lower court didn’t buy that, and we don’t think the appellate court will, either.”
With governance reform legislation passing the Assembly, and a State Supreme Court judge ordering ESDC to reconsider the 2009 Atlantic Yards plan, it's been a big year for Atlantic Yards. If you missed the news, catch up with these two Atlantic Yards observers.
(Part 1 of the series is available here.)
The latest bombshell to drop at the Atlantic Yards project came yesterday with the release of renderings of its first planned residential tower. As reported today by the Wall Street Journal,
Mr. Ratner said Thursday that the existing incentives for developments where half the units are priced for middle- and low-income tenants "don't work for a high-rise building that's union built."
He added that he had "accepted the fact that we're not going to get more subsidy."