MGPP legal challenge
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.”
Construction of the Barclays Center arena is moving ahead, but the completion of Phase I and all of Phase II of the Atlantic Yards project risks being significantly delayed. Sadly, the promises of jobs, economic vitality for the area, income for the City of New York, affordable housing, and open space all seem unlikely to be realized for decades, if not generations.
BrooklynSpeaks and Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn want successful development of the Atlantic Yards site. We want what the State and City want: the economic development, the jobs, and the public benefits that a healthy development can provide—not in the 25 years now understood by all as being likely, but within the next few years as needed.