Homeowners and businesses resisting the forced sales of their properties for a massive development in Brooklyn have told New York's top court it's unconstitutional for a state agency to order them out.
In oral arguments Wednesday at the Court of Appeals, a lawyer for owners and tenants says Bruce Ratner's proposed $4.9 billion, 22-acre Atlantic Yards project mainly enriches private interests. Ratner is the New Jersey Nets' principal owner and wants to build a new arena for the team, plus office towers and apartments.
The Empire State Development Corp. says the area was blighted, and the project is a legitimate government use of eminent domain to take property for public purposes.
Lower courts have upheld the project. A ruling is expected next month.