Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report:
Nearly all the condemnees remaining in seven properties in the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park footprint have left or have agreed to leave, months after the state formally took title to their property.
But not quite all, and that made for some heated exchanges at a hearing last Thursday, 1/28/15, in front of Justice Wayne Saitta, the Kings County judge who oversees condemnation.
The judge gave one longtime homeowner another month to negotiate an exit, even as the state has suggested he consider "comparable" properties a good distance away, in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.
But the absence of another former homeowner meant Saitta issued a "writ of assistance" requested by the state to evict condemnees by the end of February.
Barring a settlement or extension in that case, Saitta's decision sets up some unsavory optics: a sheriff could be used to remove a family with a new baby to help a private developer owned mainly by the Shanghai government build a market-rate tower, albeit with a school.
With eminent domain already approved, Saitta in September conveyed ownership the seven properties--which involved eleven separate owners/leaseholders--to Empire State Development (ESD). All are located east of Sixth Avenue, either along Atlantic Avenue or on the 100-foot strip from Dean Street to Pacific Street.
The only remaining properties in the project footprint not yet condemned are those at Site 5, bounded by Flatbush and Fourth avenues and Pacific Street, currently home to P.C. Richard and the very busy sportswear store Modell's, and slated someday to be the site of a 250-foot tower.