Thursday, April 15, 2010

In Boston, the mayor criticizes "developer's blight" and threatens eminent domain

Remember how Vornado's Steve Roth explained the strategy of sitting on a property in Manhattan to hasten blight and extract more concessions?

Well, now he's meeting his match--a mayor who's willing to take the wheel rather than let the developer drive.

The Wall Street Journal reported, in an article headlined Mayor Battles Vornado in Boston:
Real-estate mogul Steven Roth is widely respected as the chairman and driving force behind Vornado Realty Trust.

But not in Boston.

The city's mayor, Thomas Menino, sent a scathing letter to Mr. Roth last month in which he threatened to have the city seize a major development site from a Vornado-led group for failing to build there in a timely way.

The mayor's threat represents a new front in the use of "eminent domain," a legal process under which private owners can be forced to sell their property to a city or state to make way for a project in the public interest.
Chances of that happening with Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards site? Very unlikely.

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