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Surprise, surprise: Atlantic Yards back in court

New Brooklyn arena{jathumbnail off}

It’s a wonder anything ever gets built in New York City. Surprising news today: neighborhood activists once again sued the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and asked that construction on Barclays Center and Atlantic Yards be halted pending reevaluation of the enabling environmental study — and a judge is ready to listen.

Barclays Center is the future home of the New Jersey Nets (NBA); it’s part of the larger Atlantic Yards development, which will contain residential, offices and retail.

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court by several community groups, including Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) and BrooklynSpeaks, says that the construction plan for the entire project — which will eventually include affordable housing — has now stretched out to 25 years, and that’s far beyond the 10-year environmental study originally filed by developer Bruce Ratner. Because of the new timeline, the groups are asking that construction on the project — which is now limited to only the arena construction — be halted while a new environmental study can be performed.

The argument is not a new one: it’s been rejected by at least four different courts. But the groups found a sympathetic ear in Justice Marcy Friedman, and the whole matter will be heard again on Dec. 22.

RELATED STORIES: Ratner: New Nets arena will open for 2012-13 season; New Barclays Center designs unveiled, with plenty of flash and access; Ellerbe Becket to oversee Nets arena design; Ratner: We expect to build new Nets arena; Is new Nets arena dead? Yes, says architect; Will new Nets arena be scaled back?

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