From the Times Ledger:
In what some Willets Point business owners claim was the latest volley between the city and some 22 holdout property owners, the city Department of Buildings issued a full vacate order on a building owned by a Willets Point United Against Eminent Domain member for not conforming to the certificate of occupancy issued for the property.
Jake Bono, owner of Bono Sawdust Supply Co., and one of the organizers of Willets Point United Against Eminent Domain, said the DOB enforcement was an underhanded tactic to oust businesses. Bono’s company, located nearby in Willets Point, is not involved with the properties in question.
“They’re going to try to frustrate all the workers and landowners and business owners here to the point where they ... want to run out of here,” Bono said. “No streets, no sewers, no services, and now they come down with every city agency and look at you up and down with a microscope.”
Christina Walsh, a case manager for the nonprofit Institute for Justice, providing legal support to the coalition, warned the vacate order was “a precursor of what’s to come.”
“The city knows what it’s doing,” she said. “The city’s purposefully refused to do its job for decades and now they’ve decided to start enforcing whatever codes they’re enforcing.”
In the meantime, Bono also speculated the pressure to close the building may have come from the professional baseball team that occupies the opposite side of 126th Street from the property.
“There’s a time clock counting ... until the new, no−name field opens up,” he said.