Will any of the huge projects now on the drawing boards that involve taking some land from private owners--including the huge Columbia expansion, the big Willets Point redo and, of course, Atlantic Yards--ever go anywhere? Well, it depends. There are a bunch of people saying that a takeover of the State Senate by Democrats in Albany in November could put the screws to eminent domain and cause a lot of problems for big projects that might need eminent domain to deal with holdouts. One Harlem Democrat wants a moratorium on taking land and says "I don't know of too many other issues where you have such diverse and pervasive outrage." The eminent domain laws will be hard to change, but anything that delays the big projects could bring them one step closer to never happening. The two "most endangered" are the 62-acre Willets Point plan and the Atlantic Yards development, which has already been the subject of a near epic set of lawsuits. In the meantime, there are reports the Bloomberg Administration is working overtime to try to get political support lined up for the Willets Point plan, which is drawing opposition from all sides.
· Victorious Senate Democrats Could Target Eminent Domain [Sun]
· Queens pols see Mayor Bloomberg pressing for support on Willets Point [NYDN]
· Eminent Domain Coverage [Curbed]