Thursday, June 30, 2005

Resistance in Brooklyn?

From Brookyln:
It’s not that Frank Yost went out of his way to get involved in the fracas surrounding developer Bruce Ratner’s plans to build a basketball arena and skyscrapers in Prospect Heights.

The maelstrom came to him, so to speak — Yost’s bar, Freddy’s Bar & Backroom, sits in the middle of Ratner’s development site at Dean Street and Sixth Avenue.

Now the building housing the former speakeasy is about to become another Ratner acquisition, but the bar may not sink so quickly.

“We’re talking about, as part of the project, bringing in lots of food establishments and restaurants,” James Stuckey, executive vice president of Forest City Ratner, told The Brooklyn Papers this week. “Doesn’t it make sense for a business like Freddy’s to be relocated back in the project?”

Yost isn’t so sure.

When plans for the 19,000-seat arena and 17 towers of commercial and residential buildings were announced in late 2003, the bar on Dean Street near Sixth Avenue became ground zero for neighborhood opposition to the Ratner plan, quickly becoming plastered over with anti-Ratner literature and fliers decrying its dependence on eminent domain condemnations.

Several anti-Ratner arena events have been held there and members of the project’s opposition regularly meet in the old bar.
. . .
As far as relocating the bar goes, Yost said he’s not sure what to do.

“I haven’t gotten back to them yet. I am speaking with lawyers just to find out what can they do to me,” he said.

“It’s been very difficult to fight off the wolves and do business at the same time,” he said.