Opponents of the Atlantic Yards have won their first major court victory against the state agency that oversees construction—but the ruling will likely have zero impact on actually delaying the project. A state judge ruled yesterday that the Empire State Development Corporation "purposefully withheld information on the project’s timetable to avoid having to reexamine the project’s negative impacts," according to a copy of the decision obtained by Brooklyn Paper. Specifically, the ESDC only analyzed developer Bruce Ratner's discarded 10-year construction plan as opposed to the more realistic 25-year plan because "a true analysis would reveal that the project will create the blighted conditions that the state said Ratner’s project would remedy," according to opponents.
The ruling forces the agency to conduct a new environmental impact study, and finally brings to light some of the more underhanded tactics the ESDC has used to push construction along. The Atlantic Yards Report equated the agency with "a guy on Craigslist trying to rent you an apartment he doesn't quite own," and makes it clear that even though this victory will not stop construction, it'll force the agency to be more transparent in justifying its ten-year timetable.
"With today’s ruling it is more evident than ever that the new governor has a job to do with the Atlantic Yards debacle," Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn co-founder (and former holdout) Daniel Goldstein told the New York Post. "The blight Ratner has created in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn can be fixed if Cuomo is willing to take the much-needed fresh look at Atlantic Yards that [yesterday’s] court ruling demands."
Still hungry for more Atlantic Yards brouhaha? Check out In the Footprint: The Battle over Atlantic Yards, a musical theater exploration of the controversy being staged by "investigative theater company" The Civilians at the Irondale Center in Fort Greene. Previews begin on Friday.