As we have been reporting the city has its sights set on other people's property at Willets Point. The mayor's speech yesterday confirmed this beyond a reasonable doubt: "And just West of there in Willets Point, we'll select a developer to begin turning the Iron Triangle into community jewel-with parks, jobs and housing."
This is not going to go down like the BTM situation, where scores of minority businesses and hundreds of workers were treated as nonentities. The Triangle is not only privately owned it is, as Professor Angotti's study will show, home to hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs (something that the city is likely, as if they even cared, to have no idea of).
Another major difference is the fact the councilman who represents the area, Hiram Monseratte, is not going to roll over on his constituents. Adding to this mix is the fact that there is a growing consensus at the City Council against the use of eminent domain for purely economic development purposes.
And the "blight" that Andrew Alper has seen at the Point is nothing more than the willful neglect of a New York City that hasn't paved a road in the Triangle in 50 years. In spite of this neglect the Triangle businesses continue, just like tough NYC weeds, to inexorably push through the concrete and create thousands of jobs. What the city needs to do is to recognize this entrepreneurial energy and help the Triangle grow and expand its legitimate companies that are vital employment engines for the borough.