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March 13, 2008

Governor-in-waiting Paterson protested eminent domain in 2005, but quiet since

Atlantic Yards Report

So what does the soon-to-be NY Governor think about Atlantic Yards and eminent domain abuse?

Now that Lieutenant Governor David Paterson is poised to take the governorship Monday upon Eliot Spitzer's official resignation, expect more talk about his past stance against eminent domain (which I missed when writing about him Tuesday).

A 7/29/05 New York Sun brief, headlined STATE SENATE LEADER CALLS FOR MORATORIUM ON USE OF EMINENT DOMAIN, reported:

At a rally on the steps of City Hall yesterday, a State Senate leader, David Paterson, a Democrat, along with a small gathering of Harlem civic leaders and three City Council members, called for a state-wide blanket moratorium on the use of eminent domain following the recent Supreme Court decision that is widely interpreted as expanding the law’s reach.

Actually, the controversial Kelo v. New London decision merely reaffirmed--through with far more public notice--existing doctrine that "public use" could be interpreted as "public purpose," including increased tax revenues.

Also present was City Council Member Letitia James, the leading political opponent of the Atlantic Yards project. However, Paterson's posture was mainly against Columbia University’s expansion plan, within his 30th Senate District, now reprsented by Bill Perkins, who as City Council majority leader also joined the press conference.

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Would real estate "angst" about Paterson extend to AY?

Crain's reported yesterday that Governor-in-waiting David Paterson "is largely an unknown quantity in real estate circles, creating angst about how his accession will affect development."

The article suggested that plans for both the Hudson Yards and Moynihan Station, "already challenged by the credit crisis," could be slowed further. One factor regarding the latter project is whether Patrick Foye, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), is replaced.

Foye's ESDC has been shepherding the Atlantic Yards plan, which unlike the two mentioned above, has already been approved. The Spitzer administration vigorously defended lawsuits challenging the project, though the ESDC has taken some steps toward greater transparency in listing meeting agendas and hiring an ombudsman.

Posted by lumi at March 13, 2008 6:08 AM