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Uninformed Bloomberg, defending eminent domain for Columbia plan, claims city pursued eminent domain for Atlantic Yards

Brutally weird. Mayor Mike Bloomberg in a radio interview today, asserted erroneously that, while the state pursued eminent domain for the Columbia University expansion, the city was overseeing eminent domain for Atlantic Yards.

Actually, in both cases, it's the work of the Empire State Development Corporation, whose dubious findings of blight raise questions about the practice of eminent domain in the state.

On the radio

On today's Live from City Hall with Mayor Mike and John Gambling (at about 26:48), the host asked the mayor about the Columbia case, noting last week's Court of Appeals decision on the AY case.

"Atlantic Yards was the city using eminent domain," Bloomberg stated. "This is the state, in all fairness. We're not a party to the ligitation."

Surely the city will file an amicus brief, as it did in the AY case, when the state files an appeal.

He noted that he had not read the decision in the Columbia case and said "it may be on a legal technicality." It's not.

On Columbia

Bloomberg, not surprisingly, backed the Columbia plan to the hilt. "The Manhattanville Plan really is critical to Columbia's future as one of the leading academic institutions," he said.

"We have to find a ways so they can grow. No university can survive in this day and age or the city that they serve without growing and adding, and Columbia is one of the great universities in the world," Bloomberg said, as noted by WNYC.

"We have to find a ways" sounds a lot like what Bloomberg said in a 1/23/04 interview about Atlantic Yards: "Then, we’ve got to find a ways--Bruce Ratner’s got to find a ways--to build this complex in Brooklyn."


  1. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Someone please tell Mayor Bloomingdales that his detached ignorance about major NYC issues would be unbecoming if this were his first term and he wasn't a billionaire businessman. While we're extending term limits for the real estate industry, how about electing a second mayor to represent the rest of us?


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