Monday, May 10, 2010

WPU Has Style

The fight against condemnation by Willets Point businesses gets a shout out from "Manhattan Style," a website for news of that borough-but the reporter here needs to get better informed: "Willets Point, a 62 acre section of small industries in Queens has been one of the most abandoned regions of real estate for a long period of time. The Bloomberg administration is planning to do a comprehensive renovation of Willets point. It is a grand vision of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to completely transform the Willets point into 5,500 apartments, office buildings, parks, stores, restaurants and a hotel."

But the story founders on the issue of support for the plan from the existing businesses: "Although most of the property owners are happy with the plans of Bloomberg and settled to vend their properties to the city, a sawdust supplier insisted to keep his family business which has been running well for decades. There are 20 businessmen including the prominent sawdust supplier who are opposing the Bloomberg’s project. The meetings of the businessmen with a senior counsel at Arnold & Porter, Michael B. Gerrard who is known for tumbling big projects and the existence of a pair of highway ramps only on paper, are the fears of Bloomberg’s project."

Well, in fact most of the property owners actually oppose the taking of their properties-but we can't get too bent when we also read the following: "Moreover, the antagonists of the project also engaged Brian Ketcham, a traffic engineer and Richard Lipsky, who was responsible for overwhelming a number of Bloomberg schemes." Like the sound of that.

On another front, WPU will be featured on the Fox News segment, "It's Your Land," this Wednesday or Thursday-and host Eric Shawn interviewed us today and will be out at Willets Point tomorrow to talk with Jake Bono. In addition, Shawn's work on eminent domain can be found on the Fox News web site. As Auntie Mame once said, "Get me my shawl, I feel the winds of change blowing."