Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Urban Redevelopment Without Eminient Domain

From the Star Ledger:

Newark to rethink blight designation for Mulberry Street

After more than three years of back and forth, the Newark City Council may consider removing the blight designation from a 13.5-acre area surrounding Mulberry Street where developers want to build 2,000 market-rate condominiums.
"If they want to negotiate with property owners they should do so on their own without the threat of eminent domain hanging overhead," said Amador. "I'm not against the project. I just want it to be built on its own merits."

The redevelopment area covers nine city blocks, a mix of residential and industrial uses, small shops, parking lots and private homes near McCarter Highway and the federal courthouse.
This would be the second time the development, designed to at tract middle- and upper middle- class residents to live downtown, has faced major alterations. The previous city council asked the planning board to investigate whether the area was blighted in 2003 before rescinding the order. They then restarted the process to have the area declared blighted and approved a redevelopment plan for the area in September.
George Mytrowitz, a spokesman for the Mulberry Street Coalition, a group of residents and property owners who formed to oppose the use of eminent domain for the project, applauded the latest development.
"There is so much property here they can develop without hurting anyone," said Mytrowitz, whose family owns an auto body repair shop on McCarter Highway. "Eminent domain is a very powerful tool once it's on the table. It's a loaded gun pointed at a property owner's head."
"We need to bring residents downtown so the city is not a ghost town after 5 p.m., but it has to be done right," he said.


Post a Comment

<< Home