Thursday, May 3, 2012
City drops eminent domain bid at Willets Point
I'll post the links I have found this morning on this topic and summarize them for you this way...
The City planned to give the Wilpons the land at Willets Point this whole time. They couldn't just hand it over because of that pesky Kelo decision, so they had to come up with this phony RFP process. They refused to reveal the contents of the RFPs that were submitted because all of them were exceedingly lame. No one wants to be responsible for cleaning up allegedly contaminated land, raising it out of the flood plain and then building "NYC's next great neighborhood," especially in the economic climate of the past few years. So a shitty proposal for a shopping mall on 1/8 of the property was chosen as the best one, and it just happened to be the Wilpons'. Remember that the Wilpons already have permission to build on Citifield's "Lot B" because it was included in the 2008 rezoning. Unfortunately for them, to build what they want now across the street, the property will have to be rezoned AGAIN which will take quite awhile.
On the other side, the City dropped eminent domain proceedings because a shopping mall is definitely not a public use, Willets Point United has had city lawyers working overtime for the past few years and they were about to beat the shit out of the Bloomberg administration in court on several fronts. Whether or not those Van Wyck ramps are still on the table, I am not sure. But I am sure that the business owners are happy that they will now be the ones to benefit from a massive upzoning of their property.
Ask yourselves how the owners of a team that was basically bankrupt and had to be partly sold, who claim they were swindled by Bernie Madoff, won the bid if the fix wasn't in from the beginning...
P.S. Where's Claire acting like this is the greatest development in the history of Queens?
City drops bid to condemn property at Willets Point: Lawyer, Times Ledger
Zoning Regulations Slow Willets Point Redevelopment Plans, NY Times
Deal Is Near to Develop Willets Point, Wall Street Journal
Related and Wilpons Win Revised Willets Point Project, Planning Mall, NY Observer