This morning the Sun takes a look at the drive to seize the old Pfizer plant in Williamsburg via eminent domain. Assemblyman Vito Lopez introduced a bill that would result in the state condemning the 15-acre property so it could acquire it and issue its own request for proposals to create around 1,700 affordable housing units. Pfizer intends to shut down the plant at the end of this year, and it released its own request for proposals for a mixed-use development on the site that would also include affordable housing. Lopez’s chief of staff says Pfizer’s RFP isn’t good enough since it doesn’t specify how much affordable housing would come out the site’s redevelopment, but Pfizer begs to differ. “Not only is the concept of state-sponsored eminent domain extremely premature at this point and could have implications for development statewide but the legislation’s justification fails to mention affordable housing is one of the key uses already being considered,” said a spokesperson for the pharma giant in a statement. Critics of Lopez’s plan think his bill would result in a completely unwarranted use of eminent domain. “The fact that this grossly mistreats business doesn’t make it any better,” says Daniel Goldstein of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn. “If Lopez wants the affordable housing on that site then he should work with Pfizer to get it included in the development and require that they build it on their property.”
Eminent Domain Foes Fear Bid By Assemblyman [NY Sun]
Pfizer v. Vito for Rights to Old Pfizer Plant [Brownstoner]
Photo by hi-lo.
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