Willets Point United, a group of thriving businesses in the Willets Point area of Queens fighting the condemnation of their indistrial park for a to-be-determined private developer, recently submitted a letter to the New York City Economic Development Corporation asking it to disqualify project bidders who respond to its Request for Qualifications for the Iron Triangle:
We understand that December 7, 2009 is the deadline for developer firms to submit their esponses to the Request for Qualifications ("RFQ") issued by the New York City Economic development Corporation ("NYCEDC"), in connection with the proposed Willets Point redevelopment. Apparently, NYCEDC and the Project Team intend to evaluate the responses to the RFQ, to determine which developer firms are eligible to receive the Request for Proposals ("RFP") in the future. However, as concerns the development of Willets Point properties, we – the members of Willets Point United Inc. ("WPU") – presently hold the most significant qualification of all: We own the properties.
We are motivated to improve and use our own properties, consistent with the American free market system. We would have done so in spectacular fashion already, had the City upheld its end of the bargain by providing our neighborhood with essential services and infrastructure, instead of withholding hem for longer than anyone can remember. But shamefully, the City of New York and NYCEDC have conspired to supplant us, and to convey our properties to one or more developer firms that will be selected in secret by NYCEDC and the Project Team. Then, ironically, once we have been forced to depart Willets Point, the City will lavish upon the area all of the services and infrastructure that have been denied to us, despite our payments of City taxes during the past decades.
Read the rest of the letter at their website, Willets Point United Against Eminent Domain Abuse.