After six years of legal battles, the New York Court of Appeals last month cleared the way for developer Bruce Ratner to move forward with plans for his $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project, dismissing opponents' claims that the state had misused eminent domain laws to secure land for the development. (That's after a design by Frank don't-call-me-starchitect Gehry was removed from the plans.) Ratner announced this month that he had officially closed on the project, and then construction began. A bevy of eminent domain protests by locals ensued, including one at Freddy's Bar on Dean Street that involved the guillotining of a faceless body emblazoned with the words "eminent domain theft."
Coney Island agreement
After years of wrangling over the future of Brooklyn's now-gritty Coney Island, the city and Thor Equities officially came to an agreement this month, with the Bloomberg administration agreeing to pay developer Joseph Sitt, CEO of Thor Equities, $95.7 million for seven acres of land in Coney Island. Since he began buying up land in the area in 2005, Sitt had been locked in a stalemate with city officials over how to best develop the area. Sitt hinted at The Real Deal forum in October that he was close to a deal with the mayor.