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Daniel Goldstein Sells Out

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New York Observer
New York Observer

Daniel Goldstein, the face of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, has agreed to move out of his condominium unit May 7 after reaching a deal with Bruce Ratner that will pay him $3 million. That's about five times what the unit cost him in 2003.  Goldstein claimed throughout six years of protest that his position on eminent domain was principled, but in the end, faced with certain eviction, he decided to take the money. The final settlement is three times what Ratner originally offered Goldstein. 

Goldstein's decision appears to clear the way for Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov to finally take control of the Nets.

"If I'm going to be forced out of my home in very quick measure, I want to be paid for it," said Goldstein. "But I would much prefer to stay in my home...I’m not an idiot. I knew this was going to happen.”

As part of the deal, Goldstein also agreed to step down from his role as the official spokesman for Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn,  to no longer “actively oppose the project:" and to withdraw from any lawsuits against the project. Goldstein was the final holdout in the six year long battle. The agreement came after three hours of negotiations with Ratner and the state Empire State Development Corp., presided over by Judge Abraham Gerges. According to one report, Goldstein initially wanted $5 million.

MaryAnne Gilmartin, Forest City Ratner's executive vice president, announced late Tuesday that the company had reached agreement with seven other holdouts, providing residents with either $85,000 or apartments in "the first new residential building at Atlantic Yards" with Ratner covering the difference in their rents during the interim. In addition, two small businesses agreed Wednesday to vacate their properties by June 30.  Neither of the businesses are critical to the construction of the arena.  Goldstein's condo sits at what will be center court at Barclays Center.

The ESDC will soon have "vacant possession" of properties needed for the arena, the final obstacle standing between Prokhorov and ownership of the Nets.  All that would be needed is a vote by the NBA Board of Governors, which is anticipated soon.