As reported in the New York Times, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the Atlantic Yards construction project near Downtown Brooklyn. The plaintiffs in the action are more than a dozen property owners who stand to lose their homes and businesses under eminent domain as the project moves forward. The developer, the Forest City Ratner Companies, has already started preparing the property to make way for a 22-acre complex to include a basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets, more than 6,000 apartments and considerable office space.
In its ruling, the Second Circuit stated that the project could move forward because it would provide benefits to the public, including the creation of park space, new housing units and improvements in the mass transit system. The plaintiffs had argued that such benefits were merely a pretext for the real goal of the plan: to enrich the developer, Bruce C. Ratner.
Matthew D. Brinckerhoff, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said he planned to appeal the case to the United States Supreme Court.