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September 9, 2009

EMINENT DOMAINIA: The Big Apple Bites!

Brownstoner, Triangle Debate Goes On over Eminent Domain

The city's controversial plan to develop a 31-acre area of Williamsburg known as the Broadway triangle still needs approval from City Council, but if it goes forward, the project will displace at least six businesses via eminent domain and throw others into limbo due to rezoning. The Daily News tells the story of some of these business owners such as Ernie Wong, 33, whose family owns Shanghai Stainless Product & Design Co. on Gerry Street, or Sara Gelb, 52, who started a bus company on Bartlett Street with her husband 25 years ago and has built it up to a fleet of 18.

Atlantic Yards Report, Despite criticisms of MTA effort to relocate renters, ESDC faces lesser obligation in AY footprint

A New York Times article yesterday, headlined Tenants Evicted by M.T.A. Ask: Move Where?, sympathetically related the situation facing tenants being displaced by the construction of the Second Avenue Subway on the Upper East Side.

While federal law requires the transit agency to find the renters comparable homes, they've been shown places outside the neighborhood and outside Manhattan, because--no surprise--it's not easy to find inexpensive or rent-regulated housing in the area.

Interestingly enough, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) is obligated to do much less for rent-regulated tenants who'd be displaced by the Atlantic Yards project.
I asked Locker, who also represents two of the Upper East Side residents, to contrast the two situations.

"As compared to the UDC Act's relocation requirements applicable to residential tenants in the case of ESDC's Atlantic Yards Project, the MTA appears to interpret the federal relocation requirements applicable to the MTA's construction of the Second Avenue Subway differently than does ESDC," he responded. "The MTA has stated publicly that it deems itself obligated to relocate tenants into comparable rent-regulated apartments in the neighborhood. ESDC has never taken that position."

Posted by lumi at September 9, 2009 6:25 AM