Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Brooklyn Eagle: Financial Firm Swept Up In Eminent Domain Decision in Brooklyn

The city wants to destroy the Duffield Abolitionist homes to build a parking lot, but that's not the only seemingly unjustified use of eminent domain in the Downtown Brooklyn plan. The city wants to destroy a 150-employee firm, and has no plan to replace it. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports in Financial Firm Swept Up In Eminent Domain Decision in Brooklyn:

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) issued its eminent domain ruling on Monday, which concerned Track Data Corporation’s property along with 20 others on three blocks in Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn. There is no project planned to replace Track Data, which set up shop at 95 Rockwell Pl. two decades ago, “when there were crack vials on the ground and nobody wanted to come here,” said one employee.....

Track Data is a small firm that provides financial services similar to Bloomberg, L.P. — the company that made the mayor a billionaire — but with less than 1 percent of Bloomberg’s $4.7 billion in annual sales....

So far, Reguer said the company hasn’t received a relocation offer — which he said is strange given that the city is always looking to recruit and retain financial firms.

But Track Data is not at a loss for suitors. Reguer said economic development entities in New Jersey, the South and Canada are constantly trying to woo the firm to relocate within their borders.

Seth Donlin, an HPD spokesman says that eminent domain is used to obtain consolidated pieces of property so comprehensive redevelopment plans can be realized. In practice, this means that Brooklyn-based companies are no longer welcome.