BROOKLYN - The Atlantic Yards developer suffered a legal setback this week, and several homeowners hope similar results will carry over in the future.

A judge ruled developer Forest City Ratner improperly seized a six-story building in the downtown area. The property must be returned to the owner. The judge said owner Henry Weinstein's tenant, local developer Shaya Boymelgreen, violated his lease last year by signing over the property to Forest City Ratner.

Boymelgreen is expected to appeal the judge's decision. Forest City Ratner maintains it has done nothing wrong.

The ruling has given hope to plaintiffs who filed suit against the developer over eminent domain. They fear the $4 billion project, complete with a Nets arena, retail space and housing, will crowd downtown. The plaintiffs say they are fighting to stay in their homes.

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