Court Approves Eminent Domain for Atlantic Yards

Atlantic Yards Project-Court Approves Eminent Domain

New York’s highest court ruled last Tuesday that the state can seize private property for the 22-acre highly controversial Atlantic Yards development.

The Court of Appeals ruled 6 to 1 that the state could exercise eminent domain for claiming businesses, public property and private homes for economic development. The Court also stated that the Atlantic Yards project falls under the category of economic development, and also backed the state’s assessment that the area in question fits the legal definition of being blighted.

This ruling also reaffirmed that the state of New York’s effort to curb eminent domain has ceased to exist, even after the landmark case of Kelo v. City of New London in 2005. Since then, several other states have seen significant legislative reform.

Construction work is already underway at portions of the site for the project, and the developer anticipates that it will take more than two years to build the arena and move the NJ Nets to Brooklyn. They are hoping the move takes place in 2012.


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