Thursday, January 22, 2009

Columbia victim sues to block eminent domain

From NY Observer:

The owner of a set of storage buildings in West Harlem, Nick Sprayregen, has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s use of eminent domain, he said this afternoon. The state has commenced actions to acquire the properties in connection with Columbia University’s planned 17-acre expansion in the area.

In Mr. Sprayregen’s 107-page petition, he challenged the state’s actions as unconstitutional, alleging the development is not intended for civic use. The petition claims that the area is not blighted, as required by law; that the studies demonstrating blight were highly flawed; and that the public approval process was rigged.

Among other claims, Mr. Sprayregen, the owner of Tuck-it-Away Storage, said that the city and state collaborated secretly more than five years ago to determine a strategy for the project, and quotes email excerpts that suggest some skepticism on the part of a city official about the process.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Columbia has plenty of older buildings and there not even using the rooms for half the buildings on much of the property.This is going to piss off the Harlem residents as it creeps up and takes more and more property.

Anonymous said...

David against Goliath - this guy has spent major buck to defend his properties - bravo - I hope that his efforts succeed and help other property owners in the course of this battle. Clearly the City/State tramples on private property owner rights.

Taxpayer said...

It's impossible to figure how this and the Commissar's other land grabs are legal in any way.

We know that Commissar Death and Taxes is not impressed by little people who set out to protect their rights, be it property, free speech, free press, voting, health, or any of the fundamental rights we are born with.

Commissar wants something, stamps his tiny feet, lies, throws tantrums, sends out his thugs, and grabs his new prize.

Dump this Commissar.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Columbia own the land that Rockefeller Center was built on...
and is leased for 99 years to the center?

This university practically owns
the lion's share of some of the best real estate in NYC and is looking to now screw up Harlem!

Proof that brutal racism still exists but in a disguised economic form!

Anonymous said...

Everyone who owns property pays property taxes, so if they need your property and can tell u to get out, to me it means it was really never your property, why doesn't he sue the city for all the taxes he paid on property he thought was his when in reality his ownership was a mere illusion until someone in the city needed it for something else. This should really be illegal.

Bryan said...

"why doesn't he sue the city for all the taxes he paid on property he thought was his when in reality his ownership was a mere illusion"

Best quote on eminent domain use in the city ever. It's criminal. Period.

Anonymous said...

this will happen to willets point cant wait

Anonymous said...

this guys storage mess is a blight on the community. The illegal street fairs he runs on weekends are a disgrace.

He should be indicted for promoting illegal activities in his storage bins.

Anonymous said...

"He should be indicted for promoting illegal activities in his storage bins."

Maybe he should just run for mayor and rewrite the laws, seems to work if you are in the right job.

Anonymous said...

It's impossible to figure how this and the Commissar's other land grabs are legal in any way.

Uh, you don't read much outside QC, do you? Your Commissar has nothing to do with this deal.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Commissar is the project's biggest cheerleader.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Commissar is the project's biggest cheerleader.

And I was cheering for Florida in the BCS championship, but that doesn't mean I threw the winning touchdown pass.
This land-grab is Columbia's with the help of NYS.

Anonymous said...

And Bloomberg could do all he can to stop it but he chooses not to. So he's just as guilty.

Anonymous said...

And Bloomberg could do all he can to stop it but he chooses not to. So he's just as guilty.

And you've got the energy to bitch and moan here, but you didn't do anything to stop it either, so you're also just as guilty.

Anonymous said...

You can't fight city hall.

When will you people learn that?

Leave the city and laugh at those who remain...