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July 3, 2009

Lawyer for footprint owners says ESDC effort to move tenants is premature

Atlantic Yards Report

Is the friendly neighborhood Empire State Developerment Corporation just trying to be helpful, or were the letters they sent to residents and property owners in the Atlantic Yards footprint meant to apply more pressure to get them out?

I wrote Wednesday that tenants and property owners in the Atlantic Yards footprint have received letters from the law firm Berger & Webb, which represents the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) in its pursuit of eminent domain, telling them it'll be time to move soon.

Attorney Michael Rikon, who represents some footprint property owners, sent a letter of complaint to the ESDC, saying the process shouldn't begin until eminent domain is completed:

My client forwarded a copy of a letter dated June 26, 2009 in which you inform that the New York State Urban Development Corporation relocation consultant, Cornerstone Group Real Estate Services will start conducting initial visits with each occupant in the effected business buildings. Please be advised that no one is permitted to enter the premises to speak to any tenant on the property with respect to relocation until title has vested. We will view any such visit as trespass and further as an “affirmative value depressing act.” No relocation effort may begin or contact with the tenant with respect to relocation until title vests.

In a comment to me, Rikon added, "ESDC has absolutely no right to talk to tenants about relocation before it acquires title.


Posted by lumi at July 3, 2009 5:49 AM