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January 18, 2008

The ESDC's blight dodge: living "among" but not "in" unsanitary conditions

Atlantic Yards Report

Not only did Norman Oder, an army of one, come within a point of winning the Quiz Don't Destroy event last night at Rocky Sullivan's (rumors of a recount are circulating), and manage to post on the results — he somehow found time to review and comment upon Judge Joan Madden's blanket acceptance of the ESDC's spurious blight claims:

The text from state Supreme Court Joan Madden's decision January 11, as posted by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), pointed me to a curious locution used by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC): "most of the residents in the area continue to live among conditions that are unsanitary and unsafe." (Emphasis added)

Note that the Blight Study does not deal with who might be responsible for the deteriorated sidewalk and the weeds. (More on that below.) Certainly these are not the conditions in (or even among) which residents live, since there's no housing on the north side of Pacific Street.

As for the "old warehouse building," that's the Ward Bakery, which developer Shaya Boymelgreen (who developed the nearby Newswalk) was said to have considered for a hotel, but instead made a quick killing by selling it to Forest City Ratner for more than double what he paid.

The real question is who was responsible for the "unsanitary and unsafe conditions" among which people live.

As I wrote in November 2006, several people commented to the ESDC, saying the city and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) should be blamed for failing to take care of the MTA's Vanderbilt Yard.


NoLandGrab: The ESDC's claims of blight are so capricious (and infuriating) that one really must wonder how even more private property doesn't get seized for the benefit of private developers in New York State. If the city stops picking up your trash, watch out — it may well mean that some politically connected developer covets your "blighted" home.

Posted by steve at January 18, 2008 9:24 AM