On Friday Judge Abraham G. Gerges of State Supreme Court somewhat unexpectedly declined to immediately green-light the Empire State Development Corporation’s request for final approval of the seizure via eminent domain of properties in the Atlantic Yards footprint. Gerges said he would rule on the matter “expeditiously” following arguments from a lawyer for property owners urging the judge to reexamine the project given because of the changes it’s undergone in the past few years. Meanwhile, a lawyer for the ESDC said current Atlantic Yards plans are “virtually identical” to those approved by the state in 2006. On Atlantic Yards Report Norman Oder has an extensive post about the hearing, saying “Gerges’s focus is on the narrow law of condemnation, so it would be unusual for him to allow argument on claims that the project has changed so much–and after the chance for public comment on such changes–that the ESDC should issue a new Determination & Findings. So he could simply dismiss the news claims filed by property owners and leaseholders. Or he could ask the ESDC to revise the petition because of technical defects. Or–the longer shot–he could look at the broader claims, or hold this case in abeyance while another court examines those claims.” Oder also notes that the planned street closings scheduled to start today on 5th Avenue between Atlantic and Flatbush are unlikely to occur.
Property Seizure for Atlantic Yards Is Delayed [City Room]
Condemnation on Hold [AY Report]