WILLETS POINT LAND AND BUSINESS OWNERS CLAIM VICTORY AGAINST THREAT OF EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE BY CITY OF NEW YORK
Industrial businesses and jobs retained at Willets Point
(New York, NY) November 13, 2008 – The Willets Point Industry and Realty Association (WPIRA) today announced a major victory in the fight against New York City's intended use of eminent domain against their businesses. The group of the ten largest land and business owners successfully negotiated relocation deals with the Mayor's Office and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and more importantly, have negotiated for 3 of the largest businesses to remain at Willets Point. The multi-generational family run businesses, Fodera Foods, House of Spices and Tully Construction will remain in Willets Point and have been given assurances by the City that their businesses will not be threatened with eminent domain in the future.
The three landowners occupy 17.3 acres or 36% of the total 48 acres of the privately owned land at Willets Point. It is estimated the city has control over 16 acres. As a result of these 3 deals, 1,300 jobs will be retained at Willets Point. Several businesses will be relocated within Queens and the WPIRA is active in negotiations regarding further relocations for their remaining members.
The last-minute twist in negotiations with the City reflect the Administration's admission that relocation of major businesses requiring large parcels of manufacturing zoned land is next to impossible. And to proceed with a 3 billion dollar mega-development is fiscally irresponsible in the face of our City's economic crisis.
The land and business owners of the WPIRA stand by our original position – we oppose the taking of private land through eminent domain and turning it over to a private developer. And we urge all those involved to continue negotiating in good faith to reach fair and equitable deals, and to minimize the city's use of eminent domain.
If they're letting a construction company stay with all that property, then how are they going to fit everything else in? How will it blend in with the surroundings? Doesn't this whole thing sound like a stupid waste of money?