Friday, May 1, 2009

EDC running out of land for relocation

This comes from the Iron Triangle Tracker:

After being presented with the city’s concessions, CB 7 promptly voted 40-0 to allow five Willets Point businesses — Sambucci Bros. Auto Salvage, Flushing Towing, T. Mina Building Supply Co., Met Metals and Feinstein Ironworks — to the more-than-500-acre plot and move asphalt plant Cofire Paving Corp. to a new location.

The deal was hailed as a major victory by CB 7 members but has been panned by Willets Point business leaders who worry that the city does not have enough land available to relocate the more than 200 businesses who have not struck deals with the city.

“I think it’s discriminatory,” said Jerry Antonacci, co-owner of Crown Container Co. and president of Willets Point United Against Eminent Domain Abuse. “I think they have no right to say that and I think it’s foolish to say that.”

The EDC said even if development is possible on the remaining 17 acres, putting infrastructure in place to sustain development will likely be an expensive and lengthy process — which it said would not accomodate near-term relocations from Willets Point.

Antonacci noted, however, that the EDC has previously said the amount of city-owned land that can accommodate industrial and manufacturing uses like those at Willets Point is small, and said taking any land off the table is short-sighted.

“They already admitted they have no land. And if they just took this land off the table, whatre you going to do?” he said. “I think it’s going to come back and bite them.”