Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"Junkyard Nabe"

Adam Lisberg in the Daily News is the only one of the local reporters on the Mets Stadium story to focus on the fate of the businesses in Willets Point. We’re sure that this will become a focus for everyone else as the plans for the ballpark are finalized and the awarding of the development is, according to sources, revealed next week.

There is no question that the area is, in Lisberg’s words, “the madcap bazaar of garages and junkyards.” This does not take away from the fact that there are scores of small businesses, many run by new immigrants, that need to be protected. A real compensation and relocation plan needs to be part of any redevelopment scheme.

Councilman Monseratte, who represents the area, is holding a press conference at Shea today at 2 p.m. with a number of the impacted businesses owners. The likelihood is he will announce tentative support for the stadium with the proviso that a plan for the business people needs to be part of the proposal.

This new stadium proposal presents an opportunity for the mayor to demonstrate that his administration can do large scale development while remaining sensitive to the needs of local small businesses.