Government officials and developer Bruce Ratner have for years tried to seize private property in Prospect Heights to build an arena, office towers and apartments, arguing that the neighborhood was the epitome of urban blight. Opponents, meanwhile, countered that the developer was swooping in just as Prospect Heights was experiencing its first revitalization in decades.

Now, after years of demolition but no construction, the project has brought about the very blighted conditions officials ostensibly sought to remedy. Ironic, huh? Sadly, it's not the fashionable Napoleon Dynamite-type irony; more like the old fashioned irony that led Oedipus to gouge his eyes out after he realized what the hell happened. And with the development foundering, residents fear an increasingly desolate future.

The area is crawling with rats, and Martina Fugazzotto, whose apartment is by six buildings that have been razed in the last four years, tells the Daily News, "It’s creepy to walk around at night. In the summer, there will be guys hanging around outside. I get the worst sexual comments. It’s terrible." And resident Andy Basore, whose home was robbed in November, says, "The project has led to making this area more attractive for the criminal element." The silver lining? With everything demolished, locals like Joseph Medina get a hell of a view: "It's the first time I can see the Atlantic Terminal and the Empire State Building from my window."