Eminent Domain On Hold in Willets Point

For the past several years, Mayor Bloomberg has targeted businesses he doesn’t like in the Willet’s Point area of Queens for demolition.  Although he prioritized transferring these businesses to a private developer for the purpose of “redevelopment,” the mayor is still having trouble finding a developer willing to take on his grandiose vision.

Related Cos., the most recent mega-developer to commit to replacing the auto-repair businesses in Willet’s Point with swankier development, has now rejected the mayor’s $3 billion plan to build 5,000 apartments and 680,000 square feet of retail and hotel space, calling it financially impractical.

Business owners in Willet’s Point were told on May 2 that the city has dropped its plans to seize the properties using eminent domain.  The City Council will now need to go through the lengthy process of reviewing and approving new plans—a process that could take years.  Unfortunately for business owners, those years will continue to be fraught with threats of eminent domain, since the city refuses to take this abusive power off the table.  But for the time being, these business owners have a break.