The New York Times reports that Daniel Goldstein, the stalwart who resisted the taking of his condo home for the notorious Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project, has settled with the redeveloper, and will be moving out voluntarily, thus giving up the last parcel acquired for that project. Andy Newman and Charles V. Bagli, Daniel Goldstein, Last Atlantic Yards Holdout, Leaves, N.Y. Times, April 21, 2010, http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/daniel-goldstein-last-atlantic-yards-holdout-leaves-for-3-million/.
According to the Times, Goldstein bought his condo in 2003 for $590,000, but the condemnor offered only $510,000. The settlement, however, is for $3,000,000, plus an agreement whereby Goldstein will not speak out to oppose the project. Because of that last provision, it is difficult to say whether Goldstein’s case qualifies for inclusion in our regular Lowball Watch feature, or whether he took the redeveloper to the cleaners. Either way, this appears to be the end of the Battle of Atlantic Yards. It now remains to be seen if the redeveloper actually delivers on the grandiose plans for his project, and how long it will take.
The Times report makes no mention of whether this settlement includes interest and attorneys fees.
The moral also seems to be that sometimes it may be cheaper to pay off a determined holdout, than to go to the mat with him. It would be interesting to learn what this caper has cost both the city and the redeveloper, considering the cost of litigation and delay,
Follow up. Readers with access to the National Edition of the New York Times, will find this news item as Charles V. Bagli, $3 Million Deal Ends a Holdout in Brooklyn, N.Y. Times , April 22, 2010, at p. A21.
Shedding some light on our question of what this caper has cost, Bagli mentions in his article that ”the developer is paying $6.7 million a month in finance and other overhead costs.”
Also, in a public statememnt issued today by Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), Daniel Goldstein denied that as part of the settlement, he gave up his right to speak out against this project. As the Times puts it, Goldstein “agreed to step down as spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, the main group opposing Atlantic Yards. And he said he would withdraw from any litigation and not ‘actively oppose the project,’ although he said he held on to his First Amendment Rights.” You figure out what that means. See http://www.dddb.net/php/latestnews_ArchiveDate.php
Second follow-up. For an excellent commentary on this settlement, see the views of our fellow blogger Robert Thomas, on http://www.inversecondemnation.com/inversecondemnation/2010/04/was-it-all-about-the-money-hardly.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+inversecondemnationcom+%28inversecondemnation%29