That business about having a groundbreaking for the Atlantic Yards development by December? It might happen, but it's likely to be symbolic because key litigation about the project will now drag (at least) through next year. On Friday, a State Appellate Court panel rejected a motion to dismiss the key eminent domain lawsuit against the big development, the one rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court that has been refiled in state court. A press release from Develop Don't Destroy, which has been battling developer Bruce Ratner claims (in the usual understated fashion) that it's "a major setback" for the developer. (This is not to be confused with the ongoing case about the environmental review process.) The timetable means that legal briefs won't even be filed until January and that oral arguments won't happen until March or April. A decision might not come until late spring or even fall of 2009. Atlantic Yards Report concludes that "the chances for anything more than a faux Atlantic Yards groundbreaking in 2008 have now plummeted." Add another entry to the Atlantic Yards timeline of despair.
· Decision & Order on Motion [nycourts.gov]
· Court Rejects Effort to Dismiss Atlantic Yards Eminent Domain Case [DDDB]
· Groundbreaking 2008? Eminent domain case survives motion to dismiss [AYR]