Monday, October 29, 2007

Brooklyn Eagle: City Gives Downtown Brooklyn Eminent Domain Hearing Another Try

The Brooklyn Daily published an article on the public hearing this morning, "City Gives Downtown Brooklyn Eminent Domain Hearing Another Try":
Track Data Corporation and Amber Art & Music Space — scheduled to open this month before the three Brooklyn entrepreneurs were allegedly first notified that the property they’re leasing was up for eminent domain — are among the occupants on block within the BAM Cultural District. The property on the third block, also within BAM, is a surface parking lot. The city plans to recruit private developers to build high-rise mixed-income housing with ground floor performance and arts space there.

City Councilwoman Letitia James said after the hearing, which she called “just procedural in nature,” that she suspected the blight study was created recently as the result of a legal challenge to first ruling in favor of eminent domain. “I did not see a blighted study in 2003,” she said, referring to when City Council was given the opportunity to consider the Downtown Brooklyn plan, including the use of eminent domain to realize that vision.

The advocates for the destruction of the Duffield Abolitionist homes were brave enough to offer a quote to the Eagle. Joe Chan of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership had this to say:
“Acquisition of property is critical and necessary for Willoughby Square to move forward — and without Willoughby Square, much of this new investment, and therefore businesses, jobs and housing, will not happen,” said Chan.

Mr. Chan, you're such a fatalist! In case you didn't notice, there are skyscrapers going up all around Downtown Brooklyn. Several hotels are even shooting up on the same block as the Duffield Abolitionist homes. Apparently, the real estate developers don't agree with you.

Please, please, if someone is convinced by our friends at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, let us know.