Monday, March 31, 2008

Pfizer and Eminent Domain

In today's NY Sun, the paper writes about the concern generated by Assemblyman Vito Lopez's bill that would invoke the use of eminent domain for the property owned by the Pfizer company in Williamsburg: "A bill winding its way through the Assembly is prompting concern about the state's use of eminent domain in the potential condemnation of Pfizer Inc.'s Brooklyn factory."

The assembly man feels that the property in question needs to be used for affordable housing, and apparently doesn't believe that Pfizer will provide enough of this vital need for the community. As the Sun says: "The pharmaceutical giant has said it plans to develop a mixed-use project that would include an unspecified amount of "affordable" housing...The assemblyman's chief of staff, Stephen Levin, said he blames Pfizer for not specifying how much "affordable" housing it would be willing to build. Mr. Levin said the 6.7-acre Rheingold Brewery site in Bushwick is an example of a similar site that was developed into hundreds of "affordable" housing units."

Which of course gets our buddy Daniel Goldstein's knickers in a knot. He told the Sun: "The fact that this grossly mistreats business doesn't make it any better. If Lopez wants the affordable housing on that site then he should work with Pfizer to get it included in the development and require that they build it on their property," Mr. Goldstein said." What did he say? It's generally okay to mistreat business unless it involves the use of ED?

That being said, we believe that Vito's move here will certainly get Pfizer's attention; and it is likely that the assemblyman and Pfizer will likely sit down some time in the near future to negotiate all of this-and as we've said this would be a good supermarket site. The Lopez gambit is a good example of the story of the old mule and the two-by-four: sometimes you just need to get its attention!