Another Lawsuit On Atlantic Yards as Financing Clock Ticks
Once again, there’s a new lawsuit seeking to stop Atlantic Yards.
On Monday morning, a series of Brooklyn neighborhood and community groups announced they had filed a suit challenging the approval of the $4.9 billion mega-project, an action that comes as the clock ticks ever closer to a Dec. 31 financing deadline that developer Forest City Ratner must meet.
The lawsuit–which challenges the approval process when the state re-approved a modified version of the project in September–is now the fifth major suit brought or organized by the main group opposing the plan, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn. There have been two eminent domain suits, the second of which was heard at the state’s top court last week; an environmental review lawsuit; and a recently filed lawsuit challenging the re-approval by the M.T.A., which owns much of the site.
Of course, it’s not clear that any of these lawsuits stands in the way of Bruce Ratner’s firm as it tries to sell $700 million in bonds to finance the centerpiece Nets basketball arena before the end of the year. Mr. Ratner has said he is seeking a setup where investors buying the bonds would put money into escrow, and would be able to get their money back should the lawsuits ultimately topple the project–a prospect considered unlikely at this point by many attorneys familiar with development litigation.