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*
Local groups victorious as judge slams Empire State Development Corporation for breaking the law by approving 2009 Modified Plan
Today, New York State Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman ruled that the New York State Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) acted illegally in 2009 when it approved changes to the Atlantic Yards project that increased from ten years to twenty-five years the amount of time allowed to developer Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) to complete the project without first studying the impacts of prolonged construction to the surrounding communities.
As Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries bill to reform oversight of the Atlantic Yards project was on its way to the floor of the New York State Assembly, developer Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) lobbied legislators to vote against the bill by, among other things, circulating a “Memorandum in Opposition.”
This evening at Brooklyn Borough Hall, a consultant hired by Forest City Ratner will present a plan to implement significant alterations to the streets surrounding the Atlantic Yards project in order to manage congestion at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues expected when the Barclays Center arena opens. The elements of the plan are taken from a five-year old environmental study which was also paid for by the Atlantic Yards developer, and which has not been updated to reflect changes to the roadway network over the intervening years. Whether Forest City’s plan will be an effective solution for the worst traffic intersection in Brooklyn remains to be seen, but there is no question it falls far short of what is required to handle the tidal wave of traffic—and stampedes of pedestrians—that its arena will generate. It is certainly not a substitute for the comprehensive transportation plan the City and State owe the people of Brooklyn.