Nick Sprayregen has been leading the fight against Columbia University’s threat of eminent domain against land owners in West Harlem. Yesterday, a New York state appellate court ruled that correspondences between Empire State Development Corporation and a consultant that was hired by both the ESDC and Columbia University have to be released. The consultant’s conflict of interest voids the exemptions from public disclosure laws state agencies normally have.
However, things are moving fast. The ESDC released the agenda for its next meeting–to be held tomorrow. On the agenda is the Columbia matter. In the meeting the state will release its blight study, which is required for the state to later declare eminent domain for the private development project.
Despite the state-level consideration, former local development officials in the neighborhood are still opposed to the state’s use of eminent domain.