Monday, December 07, 2009

Yeah, what's blight? The editor of Next American City is skeptical of the Atlantic Yards decision

From Next American City, a progressive publication on urban affairs, editor-in-chief Diana Lind writes Eminent Domain: Can We Define Blighted? about the 2005 Kelo vs. New London case and its aftermath:
It is a rare moment when I agree with [Supreme Court Justice] Clarence Thomas. And 43 states have now taken measures to protect private-property rights.

Blighted? Susette Kelo’s house in New London.

But I don’t believe that New York State is one of them. And just around the holidays, New York’s Court of Appeals announced that the state could exercise eminent domain in claiming land for the Atlantic Yards project. And thus it ruled that the neighborhood in questions was “blighted.”

I used to live half a block from Atlantic Yards and I take issue with the notion that it is a blighted neighborhood. It’s not a pretty area, but there is a pretty successful shopping mall, independent stores, bars, and restaurants all in the vicinity.
(Photo by Tracy Collins)

My comment


I posted a comment:
Regarding that Atlantic Yards photo, keep in mind that only the foreground/right is part of the Atlantic Yards site, Vanderbilt Avenue between Pacific and Dean streets, and that some buildings already have been demolished.

The left (east) side of Vanderbilt Avenue is not part of the site. Nor is the background/right, which includes thriving businesses along Vanderbilt Avenue.

Should the project continue, Vanderbilt between Pacific and Dean will become part of a surface parking lot for more than 1000 cars.

For a look at the neighborhood, see Tracy Collins’ AtlanticYardsPhotoBook.com.

Collins also shows how the “blighted” block pictured above would be bookended by two fingers of the new Prospect Heights Historic District.

And I’ve culled New York Times Real Estate section coverage.

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