Atlantic Yards Too Appeal-ing

After what appeared to be a huge leap toward the construction of the future home of the New Jersey Nets, the development is once again taking two steps back with the news of an upcoming appeals court hearing.

The proposed Barclays Arena, along with developer Forest City Ratner’s surrounding Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, was given a green light earlier this year by a panel of New York appellate judges that affirmed Forest City’s use of eminent domain to secure land for the development.

“This is really the last hurdle that we have and now we can do what our company does best and build an arena and houses,” Forest City head Bruce Ratner told the New York Daily News following the ruling.

But the Court of Appeals – New York’s highest court – recently announced it plans to hear an appeal to the lower court’s decision in October.

A lawyer for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, a group opposing the development, told the New York Times the court now has the chance “to continue its proud tradition of interpreting this state’s constitution in a manner that affords more protection to individual rights and liberties.”

Forest City has until Dec. 31 to break ground on the arena. Otherwise, it misses an IRS deadline to sell tax-exempt bonds to finance the project.

Despite the new setback, Forest City spokesman Joe DePlasco told the Times the developer is still confident the project will move forward.

“We intend to be in construction before the end of the year,” he said.