BROOKLYN, NY-On Friday Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden decided not to issue a temporary restraining order against developer Forest City Ratner Cos. The 26 plaintiffs that filed a lawsuit earlier in the month asked the judge to issue the TRO in order to stop FCRC from tearing down the first several buildings as part of the greater Atlantic Yards plan.

On Tuesday the group petitioned the court and had planned a demonstration for the following day when demolition was slated to begin. The judge asked for more time in making her decision and FCRC agreed to stall demolition until her decision was made.

Now with the judge’s decision FCRC will begin demolition on about nine buildings during the next 13 days. The hearing for the original court case, which is being filed against FCRC as well as the Empire State Development Corp., the Public Authorities Control Board and the MTA, is slated for May 3.

“We are confident in the merits of our challenge to the state’s approval of the project and that once our claims are heard we will prevail–sending the project back to the drawing board,” says Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn’s legal team chair Candace Carponter. “It is also clear that as long as owners and renters challenging the state’s right to seize private property by eminent domain succeed in federal court, the project cannot be built. Because of the irreparable harm these demolitions will bring, we call on Gov. Spitzer, Mayor Bloomberg and other elected officials to use the ESDC’s funding leverage to halt the demolitions unless the project is proven to be feasible.” DDDB is a community coalition that is fighting against FCRC’s Atlantic Yards Project.

At the time of the original court filing, EVP Bruce Bender of FCRC said, “The suit filed today by project opponents should come as no surprise to anyone, as the opponents have claimed publicly that their strategy is to sue early and often. Despite numerous losses in court already, opponents are unfortunately continuing a strategy of legal maneuvering rather than constructive dialogue.”

DDDB is calling for a protest on Monday morning beginning at 8 am at 191 Flatbush Ave. “It is deeply troubling that Ratner will move ahead with these mass demolitions, irrevocably harming the community, while it has yet to be shown that his ‘Atlantic Yards’ project passes legal muster and is financially viable. The demolitions are an affront to the community the developer purports to benefit,” says a DDDB spokesman.

Bender said earlier that FCRC “remains committed to ensuring that the Atlantic Yards development represents the best of Brooklyn.”

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