Here’s What Eminent Domain Looks Like, Atlantic Yards Version

As of last Wednesday, the state has officially filed in court to acquire the property in the footprint of the Atlantic Yards mega-development in Brooklyn, home-to-be of the Nets.

The acquisitions are for much of the 22-acre site, as the state’s development agency, the Empire State Development Corporation, is seeking to take title to the private property in the footprint and the city streets that currently run through it (they are slated to be shut down to create “superblocks,” making way for the housing and arena).

The filing is a major step in the acquisition process, and now that the lawsuits challenging the use of eminent domain have been dismissed, the state needs a judge to grant it the title to the properties in the footprint. (The state would then turn over the properties to the developer, Forest City Ratner, which is reimbursing the state for the property it acquires, though it is also receiving significant subsidies for acquisitions and other purposes.)

There are a handful of holdouts left in the footprint who are refusing to leave, including Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn spokesman Daniel Goldstein, who told me Wednesday afternoon he would continue to fight (i.e., litigate).

“There’s going to be numerous challenges to that filing,” he said.

Should the court decisions keep going the state’s way–and, at this point, there’s little reason to think the acquisitions would be stopped–it seems it would be at least a couple of months before Mr. Goldstein and others would be forced out of their properties (Mr. Goldstein owns a condo in the footprint). The court date listed on the filing is Jan. 29, and then the judge would need to issue a decision on the issue. Then there is an eviction process that would presumably follow. Atlantic Yards Petition