Developer Bruce Ratner has been letting the media know that construction will begin on the Atlantic Yards project. The controversial development will bring an arena for the Nets as well as commercial and residential space in the millions of square feet, as well as displace residents in its 22 acre footprint. Metro reports that for the first phase of prep work, a "temporary rail yard" will be set up on the eastern side so Forest City Ratner can build the arena on the western side. The work on the arena itself would begin in the fall.
Apparently the work on the eastern side, which is where an MTA bus depot is located, will involve decontamination and demolition. Russo Wrecking tells the Daily News it was proud of winning the wrecking job, as the contract was the biggest of the "initial construction contracts" awarded to female- and minority-owned businesses.
A statement from Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, though, says:
The prep work is clearly premature, as Forest City Ratner does not own the rail yards necessary to construct the 8 million square foot project and they do not own the properties necessary to build the arena or to demap streets to build high-rise superblocks. That is because 13 of the property owners and tenants who live and work in the project site are in federal court to protect their rights and their properties from government seizure by an abusive use of eminent domain that they allege violates the United States Constitution. The developer’s ownership of the rail yards is contingent upon the outcome of that lawsuit.
In fact, DDDB's Daniel Goldstein tells Metro, "I have the key to my apartment, which is in the way of their arena. Until they get my key, they can't build it."
The Atlantic Yards Report looks at how the Empire State Development Corporation didn't agree with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz's traffic concerns.