If this seems familiar, it's because it is: the city held eminent domain hearings for downtown Brooklyn for a second time yesterday. The first time was in May, but the proceeding was tossed out because of some paperwork boo boos. (Opponents say the city deliberately forgot to produce a key report.) At issue is the fate of the "Underground Railroad homes" on Duffield Street, rent-stabilized apartments with 40 tenants, a business with 100 employees, an arts venue and a parking lot. In all, there are 21 properties that would be seized on three different blocks in the downtown area. The center of the controversy, though, is the Underground Railroad houses. The city wants to seize them and tear them down so it can build a 700-car underground garage and a park called Willoughby Plaza above it. Several major hotels will be located nearby as well as the big Albee Square development.
· Brooklyn redevelopment faces Underground Railroad conflict [amNY]
· The Duffield Eminent Domain Battle Continues [Brownstoner]
· City Gives Downtown Brooklyn Eminent Domain Hearing Another Try [BDE]