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Atlantic Yards Faces Another Lawsuit

Friday, November 20, 2009

A coalition of Brooklyn officials and community groups has filed the latest in a series of lawsuits against the Atlantic Yards project. This one focusing on revisions the state approved in September.

They say the changes made the project worse by expanding the above-ground parking area and lengthening the amount of time the developer would be given to build the office and apartment buildings. The state's economic development agency says it will defend its actions, and expects to prevail.

Until now, the coalition, called Brooklyn Speaks, had been taking a "mend it don't end it" approach to Atlantic Yards, trying to avoid litigation.

In contrast, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn has filed a series of court actions dating back years. Three of their lawsuits are pending or under review.

The state's highest court is expected to decide a fourth case shortly, filed by property owners and tenants against the use of eminent domain, in the next two weeks.

Assuming that case is resolved in its favor, the developer, Forest City Ratner, plans to sell bonds to finance the basketball arena, the first part of the project, by the end of the year.

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