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May 11, 2010

De Blasio: Eminent Domain Is Needed

by Ian Ritter

NYC Public Advobdicate Bill de Blasio has apparently forgotten that the only need for eminent domain in the Atlantic Yards footprint is to clear the way for a basketball arena.

Certain projects that provide affordable housing to residents here are in the best interest of the city and require the need for eminent domain, said Bill de Blasio, New York City’s public advocate, speaking at a breakfast put on by non-profit association ABNY. He specifically pointed to the controversial mixed-use Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn being built by developer Bruce Ratner, which bought out a number of residences and building in the area and was the center of a contentious legal battle.

“I do think there’s a place for eminent domain,” de Blasio said, explaining that he is a “pro development progressive.” “When appropriate you do maximize height and density to maximize affordable housing.”


NoLandGrab: The "non-profit" ABNY is run by a real estate magnate, with assistance from a former senior advisor to the chairman and CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation and ex-flack for stellar governors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson. De Blasio, no doubt, is starting to line up donors for his 2013 run for mayor.

Related coverage...

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, Developers' Advocate Bill de Blasio: Eminent Domain Was Needed for Atlantic Yards Housing

A "pro-development progressive" would realize that Atlantic Yards and the use of eminent domain for it, is all about the developer's profit.

Worse is this: affordable housing could be accomplished over the Vanderbilt Rail Yards in a high density and highrise community without the use of eminent domain at all. And when eminent domain is continuously used for private benefit, the eventual backlash will be such that it will be difficult to use it when it is actually crucial for a public purpose.

Atlantic Yards Report, Public Advocate de Blasio defends eminent domain for Atlantic Yards; he's apparently forgotten his "no more subsidies" position

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who issues daily press releases but did not see fit to attend or comment on the Atlantic Yards groundbreaking in March, now concludes he's happy with the project, at least according to a speech before the business-friendly Association for a Better New York (ABNY).

No more subsidies?

During the campaign last August, de Blasio said in a debate, "But no more subsidies. That project has gotten all the subsidy it deserves. And they either have to figure out a way to make it work or we should pull the plug."

As I wrote, de Blasio came a little late to "no more subsidies," given his silence when the developer gained more than $100 million by renegotiating the Vanderbilt Yard deal with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

Beyond that, when the Empire State Development Corporation a few weeks later announced new concessions to developer Forest City Ratner, de Blasio was silent.

Posted by eric at May 11, 2010 8:40 PM