Daniel Goldstein is now the $3-million man.
After nearly seven years of steadfast opposition to Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards — a personal and political protest that made him the last resident of the project footprint — Goldstein accepted the lucrative offer on Wednesday and will leave the project’s footprint by May 7.
The move comes after he was left with no other options once the state condemned his Pacific Street property via eminent domain last month.
Goldstein paid $590,000 for the three-bedroom unit in 2003 — months before Ratner presented his 16-skyscraper residential, commercial and basketball arena plan that called on the state to evict residents through its condemnation power.
After a long holdout — which left his name as the only one on the buzzer of his six-story building — Goldstein was offered just $510,000 by the state.
But now Goldstein will receive a check for that amount tomorrow — plus the remaining $2,490,000 from Ratner when he, his wife and small child move out.
He said he was relieved, but still personally affronted by the $4-billion mega-project — the subject of years of protest and more than a dozen lawsuits.
“If I’m going to be forced out of my home in quick measure, I’m going to be paid for it,” he said. “Of course, I would rather the neighborhood be restored.”
But Goldstein’s big payday came with caveats — which also apply to his wife.
• He must withdraw from all lawsuits and not file any others against the Atlantic Yards project.
• He cannot actively oppose the project — or as Goldstein explained it, “I can’t lie down in front of the bulldozers, which I wasn’t going to do anyway.”
• He can no longer be the spokesman of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, but will remain a member.
Goldstein’s lawyer, Mike Rikon, explained that the sticking point of during two hours of negotiations on Wednesday in the chambers of Justice Abraham Gerges in Downtown was Ratner’s demand that Goldstein relinquish his right to speak out against the project.
In the end, Ratner backed down because “[Goldstein] would have walked away from any offer if he lost his First Amendment rights,” Rikon said.
Goldstein added that Ratner was motivated to reach a settlement because the developer wanted him to leave his building as soon as possible.
Indeed, lawyers for Ratner had written in a legal filing that further delay would cause “enormous harm” because the property costs $6,700,000 per month and is not generating income, as first noted by the Atlantic Yards Report.
The Goldstein deal comes only two days after project opponents lost their main watering hole, when Freddy’s Bar at Dean Street and Sixth Avenue announced it would be moving to Park Slope after making its own deal with Ratner.
If Freddy’s was the “war room” for opponents, Goldstein was their general — an articulate spokesman and behind-the-scenes player who helped orchestrate numerous protests and legal challenges to the Atlantic Yards.
Now, Goldstein — whose building is in the way of Ratner’s plans to build the Barclays Center to house his Brooklyn-bound Nets — is in the hunt for a new abode.
Ratner executives did not comment by our eminent deadline.
“This money in part has to do with me being given an unreasonable amount of time to leave,” said Goldstein. “It was a very nice home for me. I got married, had a child there — it’s perverse to demolish it. It’s upsetting.”
But, Goldstein added, he could use help on the Brooklyn real-estate market.
“We’re partial to Fort Greene, Park Slope, Prospect Heights,” he said. “If anyone knows of a month-to-month rental, that’s what we’re looking for.”
©2010 Community News Group
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