The Urban Lawyer Vol.
2010City Ratner (“FCR” or “FCRC”),
in conjunction with the Empire StateDevelopment Corporation (ESDC), a quasi-public entity with signiﬁ-cant redevelopment powers.
Together, they intend to build a new arenafor the New Jersey Nets NBA team, which was purchased in 2004 by anownership group led by FCR CEO Bruce Ratner.
In addition to the arena,the project plans feature sixteen high rises with thousands of housingunits, both market rate and subsidized, as well as ofﬁce and retail space.The railyards, which are owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Au-thority (MTA), would be improved and decked over, thereby facilitatingmore efﬁcient operations and hiding the unsightly tracks from view.
were empty when the project was announced and some later were deteriorated, thoughthe extent and cause of the deterioration were in dispute, with no independent engineerpermitted to evaluate the structures before they were demolished. Norman Oder, TimesRatner Report, http://timesratnerreport.blogspot.com/2006/02/demolitions-timeline-what-do-emergency.html (Feb. 20, 2006, 7:08 EST). It should also be pointed out thatthe railyards are technically known as Vanderbilt Yard; “Atlantic Yards” is not an exist-ing place in Brooklyn, but a project. Norman Oder, Atlantic Yards Report, http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2009/01/some-common-and-less-common-mistakes-in.html (Jan. 12, 2009, 2:33 EST).4. Forest City Ratner is a subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, “one of the largestpublicly traded real estate ﬁrms in the U.S.” Forest City Ratner Companies, http://www.fcrc.com/ (last visited Mar. 18, 2010);
Forest City: New York, http://www.forestcity.net/ofﬁces/new_york/Pages/default.aspx (last visited Mar. 18, 2010) (show-ing the New York branch of Forest City Enterprises).5. ESDC is actually an alias for two separate public authorities, the Urban Develop-ment Corporation (UDC) and the mostly defunct Jobs Development Authority (JDA).The UDC was created by the New York state legislature in 1968 primarily to buildlow income housing and to improve blighted areas. Urban Development CorporationAct, N.Y.
, ch. 252, § 2 (Consol. 2010). Joseph P. Fried,
Goodbye,Slum Razing; Hello, Grand Hyatt
July 15, 1979, at E6. To avoid the bu-reaucratic red tape and exclusionary zoning laws that had bogged down and preventedhousing projects in the past, the UDC was given “truly amazing powers,” includingthe authority to use eminent domain, override local laws, and issue tax exempt bonds.Norman Oder, Atlantic Yards Report, http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2007/02/ planner-garvin-udc-esdc-has-truly.html (Feb. 7, 2007, 6:26 EST). Despite these pow-ers, it became apparent by the early 1970s that the UDC’s housing projects alone werenot sufﬁciently proﬁtable to support the agency, and in order to provide needed rev-enues, the UDC began to focus on commercial and industrial projects.
Moreland ActComm’n on the Urban Dev. Corp., Restoring Credit and Conﬁdence
http://www.publicauthority.org/files/Restoring_Credit_&_Confidence.pdf. ESDC’sother component entity, the JDA, was created in 1961 to provide funding for industrialdevelopment, but was absorbed into the UDC in the mid 1990s.
State of N.Y.Ofﬁce of the State Comptroller, Urban Development Corporation and JobDevelopment Authority Staff Study: Consolidation of the State’s EconomicDevelopment Entities and Programs, Report
19 6 (1997), http://osc.state.ny.us/audits/audits/9798/96d19.pdf.6.
Richard Sandomir & Charles V. Bagli,
Ratner’s Path To Buy Nets Had Pitfalls And Promise
Jan. 25, 2004, § 8, at 1.7.
Empire State Development Corporation, Atlantic Yards Arena & Redevelop-ment Project, http://www.empire.state.ny.us/Subsidiaries_Projects/AtlanticYards.html(last visited Mar. 18, 2010).