The rationale--acknowledged developer's blight--sounds a lot like a strategy pursued by Forest City Ratner for the Atlantic Yards site.
The Observer reports:
There was another plus to waiting, [Roth] noted, offering a refreshingly candid developer's take on one way to pursue government subsidies:(Emphasis added)
"My mother called me and said [of the site], 'It's dirty. There are bums sleeping in the sidewalks of this now closed, decrepit building. They're urinating in the corners. It's terrible. You have to fix it.'
"And what did I do? Nothing.
"Why did I do nothing? Because I was thinking in my own awkward way, that the more the building was a blight, the more the governments would want this to be redeveloped; the more help they would give us when the time came.
"And they did."
Laughter followed.It's not clear from a quick search just what incentives Mr. Roth received...
Note that the Wall Street Journal pointed to a similar strategy in Boston.