Continuing the discussion from NEW YORK | Atlantic Yards Redevelopment | (15 Towers) | FLOORS:
Atlantic Yards: B15
Eminent domain, round two: state and Forest City close-mouthed as condemnation process begins for properties near arena site
Monday, June 09, 2014
Three houses destined for condemnation; photo by AYR
Still, Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards, and developer Forest City Ratner are close-mouthed and not fully candid about the second–but not quite final–round of eminent domain.
The state recently has begun the condemnation process for three homes and three businesses across Sixth Avenue from the arena, between Dean Street in Atlantic Avenue.
Eminent domain has already been approved; the issue now is compensation and possession, so the first step is asking property owners to accept a visit by an appraiser, a prelude to an offer, which later can be litigated.
The reason for condemnation, according to ESD, is to facilitate work at the railyard and also construction of the 272-foot B15 tower between Pacific and Dean streets east of Sixth Avenue.
But only the railyard work has a schedule.
As for when the tower will be built–who knows? There are several already-cleared sites available for construction, on both the arena block and also the southeast block, now used for interim surface parking.
So I’d bet the properties are being taken because 1) Forest City Ratner’s new joint venture partner, the Chinese government-owned Greenland Group, finally has the cash to pay the owners and 2) a larger cleared site is needed for staging to assist construction across the street, on the arena block.
After all, that 100-foot-wide piece of land was initially supposed to be used for interim surface parking and staging while four towers were built simultaneously with the arena–a plan that was later abandoned.
In other words, this piece of land was not needed to somehow “cure” blight anomalously located at one rectangle. It was to have a crucial role in construction.