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Atlantic Yards Case Goes Before Appeals Court

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TWC News: Atlantic Yards Case Goes Before Appeals Court
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The state's highest court began hearing arguments Wednesday in the eminent domain case over the proposed Atlantic Yards project.

The Court of Appeals is set to decide whether New York State has the authority to condemn property and force its sale to developer Bruce Ratner.

Ratner's proposed 22-acre project includes a new arena for the New Jersey Nets, offices, and residences on Flatbush and Atlantic avenues. But some residents and owners are challenging the government's power to force them out, saying the state constitution authorized eminent domain for public use only.

Opponents say a new report that is set to come out will only bolster their argument. The report allegedly says that city taxpayers will actually be at a net loss when it comes to the arena.

The state argues there are clear benefits to taxpayers in the form of added jobs, added infrastructure, and the removal of a "blighted" area.

For the developers, time is of the essence. They have until the end of the year to gain bond financing for the project or else they will lose their tax exemptions.

Other cases regarding this project have already been filed, including one against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Lower courts have backed the project.

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