Monday, March 09, 2009

The Great Coney Island Game Of Chicken Continues

The great Coney Island game of chicken between the city and Thor Equities continues as both sides still locked in a position of who buys or sells first. With Thor not looking like they're going anywhere soon, the city may need to break out of its shell and not be afraid to wave their eminent domain card over Thor.

The New York Post has highlighted the lines in the environmental impact statement which clearly describe the use of eminent domain along boardwalk properties currently owned by private developer(s), if necessary. According to city officials, they have never intended to use eminent domain in their plans to revitalize the famed seaside destination' Coney Island.

NY Post writes:

Seth Pinsky, president of the city's Economic Development Corp., said that despite what the document says the administration still doesn't "think [eminent domain] will be necessary," adding he believes deals will eventually be reached to buy the private land needed.

With Joe Sitt asking for double what the city has offered ($110 million), and Thor still seeking to purchase more land which includes land from Kansas Fried Chicken's Horace Bullard (who owns the Thunderbolt water-front/Surf Ave. lot), it doesn't look like there is going to be any land acquisition by the city anytime soon. Which means either; what the city said about not using eminent domain is something they're going to have to turn back on, or they'll be a long winded chicken race to continue.

Despite that eminent domain is supposedly a long dragged out court process, the NY Post stated that many opposed to Thor Equities would rather have the city use eminent domain against them.

NY Post wrote:

Because of this, many New Yorkers have actually called on the city in public meetings to take Sitt's land through eminent domain - a rare example in the Big Apple of support for the controversial tactic.

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