Critics Win Right to Re-Argue Case; Arena Construction Will Continue

After more than 30 losses in federal and state courts, critics of the Atlantic Yards project have finally won something, but the state court decision does NOT halt construction on Barclays Center and is unlikely to slow it down either.

Critics have long complained that the state development corporation, the ESDC, did not adequately address  extensive changes made to the overall Atlantic Yards plan in 2009, including an extended buildout of the $5 billion project.  State court judges had rejected the argument, granting the ESDC great latitude.  Tuesday, a Manhattan judge who had originally ruled in favor of the ESDC, permitted critics to re-argue their case, giving them one final court hearing.

However, Judge Marcy Friedman did not stay arena construction and asked the ESDC in particular for "findings" on why the new plan shouldn't require a new environmental impact statement.  The arena, meanwhile, continues on time and on-budget.  Even critic Norman Oder suggests that it's "unclear whether the ruling will fundamentally change anything".

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