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About DDDB
Our coalition consists of 21 community organizations and there are 51 community organizations formally aligned in opposition to the Ratner plan.

DDDB is a volunteer-run organization. We have over 5,000 subscribers to our email newsletter, and 7,000 petition signers. Over 800 volunteers have registered with DDDB to form our various teams, task-forces and committees and we have over 150 block captains. We have a 20 person volunteer legal team of local lawyers supplementing our retained attorneys.

We are funded entirely by individual donations from the community at large and through various fundraising events we and supporters have organized.

We have the financial support of well over 3,500 individual donors.

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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

Documents Show Ratner Has Voluntarily Stopped Work and Has an MTA Deadline Coming Up

Ratner says he has stopped work on building a new rail yard because of ongoing litigation. This is a bogus claim.

Now, on his Atlantic Yards Report, Norman Oder provides documentary evidence that Ratner's and spokesman Joe DePlasco's excuses for his behind-schedule yard work and work stoppage are just that, excuses. All the evidence shows that litigation is not the reason for the stoppage.

We believe the stoppage is due to a cash flow problem for the "developer" of the Atlantic Yards project. This is likely true. But, additionally, Oder uncovers a fascinating detail while examining Ratner's work timeline submitted to the Empire State Development Corporation and other documents related to the Ratner/MTA rail yard deal. (See emphasis added in Oder article below.)

The detail does suggest that the work stoppage could also be due to MTA concern about actually receiving the low-ball $100 million Ratner agreed to pay for the rail yard, and potential ongoing renegotiation of that deal. Yesterday's Daily News article quoted MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin alluding to, perhaps, renegotiation—"Closing on the sale of the Vanderbilt Yards has been delayed as the parties work through a number of issues, including outstanding litigation." (Emphasis added.)

The detail also suggests that in ten weeks the MTA could (note, we're not saying would) walk away from the deal to sell the rail yard to Ratner.

From Oder's report:
Documents show FCR has missed three deadlines to construct temporary railyard (and that litigation was not a factor)

Both the Empire State Development Corporation and developer Forest City Ratner blame pending litigation for the work stoppage at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Vanderbilt Yard.

I've already cited sworn affidavits by FCR executives who promised that work would continue during litigation, claiming that the developer's "construction schedule has been carefully drawn... by commencing work now on vacant properties that are owned by FCRC, the MTA and the City...."

There's another reason not to believe the ESDC/FCR explanation. Construction schedules prepared by/for the developer regarding completion of a temporary railyard--Stage 1 of three at the Vanderbilt Yard--offer no indication that litigation would be a factor.

And, contrary to the claim by FCR spokesman Joe DePlasco that "we've gone about as far as we can go at this point with preliminary work," the temporary railyard is way behind schedule, having missed three deadlines.

In fact, a license for temporary yard work signed 2/14/07 states that, if construction of a permanent railyard does not begin within 24 months, the MTA has the option to ask Forest City Ratner "to fully restore the Present VD Yard Functions" and--apparently, though the language is murky--end the deal. There's no indication that the MTA would exercise such leverage, but the option would become available in some ten weeks, as the authority waits for the $100 million FCR has pledged to lease the railyard.
(Emphasis added.)
...

Deal was supposed to close a year ago

A 9/4/07 New York Observer (NYO) article headlined Atlantic Yards: The Suspense Builds described delays:
The company has not closed on a $100 million deal to lease the 8-acre Long Island Rail Yard from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but has been working instead under a license agreement. (M.T.A. spokesman Jeremy Soffin said the deal should close at the end of this year or in the beginning of 2008.) While contractors have taken the first step to construct a temporary rail yard on the eastern end of the site—a precondition for work on the arena, where trains are currently stored—that work was supposed to be completed by the middle of August, according to the schedule from last year.

But the deal did not close in early 2008.

In an MTA webinar last April, executive director Elliot (Lee) Sander expressed concern about the whereabouts of the $100 million. He said the money was assigned to the 2005-09 capital program, and brought up Atlantic Yards without being asked.

His statement:
There was approximately a billion dollars associated with the sale of MTA real estate assets to support that program. There are some monies there that look like there may be challenges to proceed upon right now. There is money there--100 million dollars associated with the sale of Atlantic Yards, and I think many of you have read in the newspapers some of the difficulty Forest City is having with that development, so hopefully that will proceed, but we want to make sure that that happens—but we’re concerned about that.

There's no indication in available MTA documents that the authority is counting on getting the money by next year.
...
Full article.



Posted: 12.05.08
DDDB.net en español.
Battle for Brooklyn
Screening Schedule

Battle Fore Brooklyn
Unity 4 Community Meeting, June 15th at 388 Atlantic Avenue

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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals
Ruling

[See ownership map]

EIS Lawsuit

DDDB et al v ESDC et al
Click for a summary of the lawsuit seeking to annul the review and approval the Atlantic Yards project.

Appeal briefs are here.

2/26/09
Appellate Divsion
Rules for ESDC
What would Atlantic Yards Look like?...
Photo Simulations
Before and After views from around the project footprint revealing the massive scale of the proposed luxury apartment and sports complex.

Click for
Screening Schedule
of
Isabel Hill's
"Atlantic Yards" documentary
Brooklyn Matters


Read a review
-----------------------
Atlantic Yards
would be
Instant
Gentrification
Click image to see why:


-No Land Grab.org

-Atlantic Yards Report
-Atlantic Yards Deathwatch
-The Footprint Gazette
-Brooklyn Matters
-Noticing New York
-NY Times "The Local" FG/CH
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-Atlantic Lots
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-Pardon Me for Asking
-Clinton Hill Blog
-Only The Blog Knows BK
-Brownstoner
-Sustainable Flatbush
-A Child Grows in Bklyn
-Williamsburg Warriors

-The Real Estate
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-OnNYTurf-Atlantic Yards
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-Save Our Parks (Bronx)
-Eminent Domain Watch
-NJ Eminent Domain Law
-PLANYC
-Big Cities Big Boxes
-www.DANDOCTOROFF.com
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-TenantServices.com
-Tenant.net