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Forest City Ratner

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Showdown at the Brooklyn Museum

Developer Bruce Ratner is slated to receive an award tonight at a fancy gala, and opponents of his Atlantic Yards project will be there to make sure he doesn't enjoy it.

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Judge Won't Stand in Ratner's Way

A New York State judge announced this afternoon that she won't stop Bruce Ratner from razing several Brooklyn buildings to start construction on his Atlantic Yards project. Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn appeared in a lower Manhattan courtroom Tuesday to request a temporary restraining order against Forest City Ratner, keeping the developer from starting demolition pending a May 3 hearing on DDDB's lawsuit claiming in inadequate environmental-review process. Justice Joan Madden promised a decision today, and she has now denied the DDDB request. FCR showed Madden a schedule Wednesday outlining the demolition of fifteen buildings between April 18 and the end of June, she wrote. Reasoning that a restraining order "is a drastic remedy which should be sparingly used," she wrote she failed to find "factual support" that the first nine buildings on the block will "affect the nature and character of the area." DDDB chief Daniel Goldstein quickly issued a statement. "The court expressly stated that in making today's TRO decision it was not pre-judging the merits of petitioners claims filed on April 5th," he said in a press release. He has called a protest for Monday at 8 a.m. at 191 Flatbush Avenue, where he expects demolition work to begin. In the Matter of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn v. Empire State Development Corporation [PDF]

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Why Protest When You Can Sue?

In the battle over Atlantic Yards, events in a lower Manhattan courthouse this afternoon amounted to a shot blocked by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn chief Daniel Goldstein. As nobody can avoid knowing, Goldstein has led a coalition of civic groups petitioning to stop the megaproject by suing in federal and state court over its environmental and legal review. Goldstein and fellow protestors planned to block alleged demolition by developer Forest City Ratner tomorrow at 8 a.m. but instead went to court today to seek a temporary restraining order. By 5:30, FCR had "graciously" agreed to avoid demolition this week, Goldstein told us. A judge will rule on the restraining order by Friday, he says, so there will be no protest tomorrow morning. (Sleep in, enraged Brooklynites!) A FCR spokesperson confirmed that he had been in court all day and promised no demolition tomorrow. Goldstein warned that Monday could be a different story. —Alec Appelbaum

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