“Sometimes I look at it and I am amazed we all got there. It was a long haul.”

July 18th, 2011

Bruce Ratner makes me sick. This Times piece on the construction of Atlantic Yards makes on fleeting references to the eminent domain battles used to seize property in Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards:

After eight years of delays — involving eminent domain lawsuits, neighborhood protests, financial setbacks, the removal of its world-renowned architect to cut costs and the enlisting of a Russian oligarch to cover them — the site’s first featured building is on track to open in September 2012.

Included in an e-mail blast for V.I.P. tickets was Daniel Goldstein, the founder of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, who refused to sell his apartment for years and finally took $3 million to move, so his building (in the middle of the arena site) could be razed. Mr. Goldstein, who now rents an apartment two blocks away, had once put his name on a list to learn more about the Nets plans. “It was ironic,” Mr. Goldstein said.

He is the dogged protagonist in the documentary “Battle for Brooklyn,” which spans seven years of his group’s fight of the project and the company’s use of eminent domain. As the credits roll, Mr. Goldstein’s building is being demolished in May 2010.

Asked whether he would see the film, Mr. Ratner paused. “Eventually,” he said.

Ratner won’t watch Battle for Brooklyn, but you should.