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CurbedWire: Columbia Gets the Nod, Staten Island vs. NJ

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MANHATTANVILLE?As expected, the Empire State Development Corporation's Board of Directors adopted Columbia University's general project plan, which triggers a final public review process before a final ESDC vote on the school's expansion. This clears the path for the eventual seizure of the hold-out properties via eminent domain, because the plan contains language saying both the ESDC and Columbia will not proceed with eminent domain on only residential buildings for 10 years. Per the press release: "This project and the benefits that community leaders, local politicians and state officials negotiated to be a part of it, promises to transform the lives of Upper Manhattan residents for years to come," said Congressman Charles Rangel. It remains unclear how many dorm rooms Rangel will be allowed to occupy at below-market rates. [ESDC]

STATEN ISLAND?We have no clue what the mayor of Belmar, New Jersey, did to deserve this, but an e-mail from the Staten Island Good Neighborhood Association alerts us that the group will call for a boycott of the town of Belmar unless certain conditions are met: "The group wants the Mayor Kenneth Pringle who insulted Staten Island to spend 24 hours in the crown island jewel of New York. He would be treated to the local cuisine including a night at the Staten Island Hotel. The Staten Island Good Neighbor Association wants to take him on a tour of the place people love to dump on. If he refuses the group plans a fundraiser to give for the candidate that runs against him in the next election and boycott ads will be placed in local newspapers across Staten Island." [CurbedWire Inbox]