Last year, despite massive citizen opposition that reaches far beyond Wilmington’s borders, the city authorized a plan that will allow it to condemn 62 businesses on prime riverside land for – surprise! – condos and retail.
Ed Osborne of Osborne’s Auto has been leading a grassroots and legal fight against this abuse of power, but the city continues to accuse him of overreacting and fear mongering.
Yet in order to sell the apparently undesired condos, the realtors are showing the public this rendering of what the area will soon look like–minus the red arrow, of course. That’s pointing to where Ed’s auto shop is…for now. And by “public,” we don’t mean Ed or his fellow business owners. This is just being shown to prospective buyers.
Here’s the letter Ed sent to the developer and realtor today:
March 5, 2008
Dear Mr. Bunch:
It has been brought to my attention that you and agents of Sotheby’s Realty have conveyed certain information to members of the public under the guise of soliciting prospective sales of Christina Towers. The information conveyed is inaccurate at best; misleading at worst. While my property is on the City’s acquisition list (along with 61 additional properties), I can state unequivocally that the City of Wilmington has not acquired my property through its illegal use of eminent domain nor does it have the power to do so which I intend to prove in the Delaware Courts.
Contrary to your public statements, no offer was ever made for my property by the Bucini-Polin Group, the Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) or the City of Wilmington. In fact, I was never even extended the courtesy of being asked if I was interested in selling my property. I have been told that your agency has as part of its presentation to prospective buyers, artist renderings of proposed buildings on my property. (See attached photo) I request I be shown the respect of ownership while the property known as 104 A Street is still in my name.
While this matter is still in litigation I request that you and your agents refrain from continuing in conduct that is misleading and could negatively impact property values along A Street. Furthermore, Sotheby’s is an enterprise that is well-respected in the realty community. It also has a reputation for integrity and fairness. I believe truth is a commodity which is in everyone’s best interest especially a potential buyer.
Bruce E. Osborne
cc: Rob Buccini, Buccini-Polin Group
Richard Abbott, Esq. (by e-mail)