More ugly news for the Brooklyn property owners fighting eminent domain abuse in the Atlantic Yards project. Yesterday Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Abraham Gerges granted New York state's petition to seize the holdout homes and businesses on behalf of real estate tycoon Bruce Ratner, who plans to build a new basketball stadium for the abysmal New Jersey Nets (a team Ratner co-owns). As the New York Daily News writes:
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Abraham Gerges tossed a challenge to the eminent domain condemnation—a final blow to property owners who fought the wrecking ball for six years.
State officials said the occupants would be evicted in the next few months—but Ratner plans to hold a ground-breaking ceremony March 11.
It's not technically the final blow, as there are two more legal challenges still pending, but things don't look good. As embattled property owner (and Reason contributor) Daniel Goldstein stated yesterday:
Today is a very sad day to be a Brooklynite. Our state government, long mired in corruption and scandal, has bent over backwards to give Bruce Ratner whatever he wants, including my home, and the homes of other citizens. I am angry with our so-called political leaders who proudly stand by their abuse of power. When the most powerful forces in state government collude with the real estate industry, injustices will happen, and today is a result of that.