Nets Move from NJ Hindered by NYC Groups

21 11 2009

NBA team New Jersey Nets may not get to make their anticipated move to Brooklyn if New York interest groups get their way.

http://tinyurl.com/yfl44s3

Proposed Atlantic Yards design (http://tinyurl.com/yfl44s3)

Organized under the BrooklynSpeaks initiative, community groups such as the Brooklyn Heights Association and the Fifth Avenue Committee filed a lawsuit on November 19 to block state approval of the Atlantic Yards arena and development construction. 

 Though proponents of the project contend that the Atlantic Yards will provide an economic boost to the city, neighboring citizens and elected officials are not convinced.  Attorney Albert Butzel explained the community’s arguments in a BrooklynSpeaks press relase on the lawsuit:

“Atlantic Yards is a terrible project – out of place, outsized and out of bounds. It represents one more cynical partnership between government, which is supposed to serve the public interest but doesn’t, and the powerful New York City development community, which serves its own.  This lawsuit challenges that incestuous arrangement and seeks to give the impacted communities an opportunity to participate in the planning for Atlantic Yards and help determine their own future.

At the heart of the legal battle is eminent domain – the right of the state to appropriate private property for public use.  For the past three years BrooklynSpeaks has fought for stronger oversight of the Atlantic Yards project and its expected impact on the surrounding community.  “The group has advocated, among other things, for a thoughtful proposal for the governance of the Project, including a strong advisory role for local elected officials and community residents currently excluded from any meaningful participation,” said the press release.

If completed, the Nets arena will be the anchor of the 22-acre development in downtown Brooklyn.  Designed to include apartments, offices, and buildings, the project is worth an estimated $4 billion and is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2011 NBA season.

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