Monday, November 29, 2010
EDC lied about Willets Point relocations
From Willets Point Watchdog:
Contrary to promises made by the New York City Economic Development Corporation ("EDC") and the stated intent of elected officials, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development ("HPD") has issued written notices requiring all persons to vacate certain City-owned Willets Point properties where tenant businesses are operating. HPD has done this, despite the tenant businesses receiving none of the promised relocation assistance from EDC.
One such notice, obtained by Willets Point Watchdog and reproduced below, states: "You and all other persons occupying said premises must remove yourselves from the premises on or before November 30, 2010 ... Failure to do so will result in the landlord [HPD] commencing summary proceedings under the statute to remove you from the premises" (emphasis added).
HPD Notice Highlight
The notice is unambiguous: Get out by November 30, 2010, or HPD will take steps to "remove you". The notice absolutely forecloses any possibility that a tenant will be permitted to continue operating a business on the property after November 30, 2010.
Attorney Harold P. Weinberg and HPD Administrative Staff Analyst Aida Estepan both signed the notice.
Can Weinberg and Estepan possibly be unaware that:
* The New York City Council approved the proposed Willets Point development during 2008, with the understanding that EDC would attempt to relocate as many of the approximately 240 tenant businesses as possible?
* EDC has not yet even begun to do so?
According to a source who is familiar with the pending eviction proceedings, even after being told that it is inappropriate for HPD to evict any Willets Point tenant business because no relocation assistance has yet materialized from EDC – let alone that there is no immediate need for the property in question to be vacant – attorney Weinberg has refused to rescind the notice, instead telling the business owner that he will see him in court, as the notice threatens.
To defend itself against HPD's inappropriate action, apparently the business will have to retain professional legal counsel – placing a large financial burden on a small business at the same time that HPD has destabilized that business by threatening its future. Although burdening and threatening Willets Point tenant businesses is precisely the opposite of what EDC promised, no elected official has been willing to confront HPD concerning the inappropriateness of its notices, which require all persons to vacate certain premises.
Translation: They all lied! Check this out:
Brad Lander is now a City Council person. Let's see if he steps up and does something. But I wouldn't hold my breath. After all, he's a tweeder now!