July 21, 2007
In Newark, an eminent domain decision with some echoes for Brooklyn
Atlantic Yards Report
A 14-acre plot of land one block from an urban sports arena, with modest lots, homes, and businesses, some of them empty. A redevelopment proposal with mostly luxury housing. A politically connected developer. A plan to use eminent domain. A questionable finding of blight. And a lawsuit.
Sounds like Brooklyn and Atlantic Yards? Nope, it's the Mulberry Street Redevelopment Project in Newark, where, on Thursday, a state judge shot down the plan by calling the government's finding of blight and underutilization not credible. (See Mulberry Street Area Property Owner's Group v. City of Newark, 3.8 MB PDF.)
There's little if any applicability to Brooklyn, given that the decision was based on state rather than federal law. The plaintiffs in Goldstein v. Pataki, the Brooklyn eminent domain case, draw on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2005 Kelo v. New London decision, but have so far been stymied in trial court.
Still, the case has some significant echoes for Atlantic Yards watchers because, in New York, the Empire State Development Corporation, the condemning agency, almost certainly would not get away with its questionable blight finding had the case proceeded in New Jersey.
Posted by amy at July 21, 2007 9:41 AM