Bushwick Inlet Park advocates urge city to seize CitiStorage site
Site owner Norman Brodsky let the city’s $100 million offer for the 11-acre site expire
August 8, 2016
By Ameena Walker
The advocates fighting for Bushwick Inlet Park have had enough. According to DNAinfo, local politicians along with other park supporters are urging the city to seize Norman Brodsky’s CitiStorage site, the last piece of land needed to complete the park, through eminent domain. Brodsky recently allowed the city’s $100 million offer, which he considered too, to expire. Last month, Brodsky put the site up for public auction, to the city’s and park advocates dismay, in hopes of attracting higher bids.
In a letter to Mayor de Blasio, U.S. Congressman Carolyn Maloney stated, “There is no time to delay. Given the owner’s intransigence, the city must exercise eminent domain.” Other officials that shared her sentiments include State Senator Daniel Squadron, State Assemblyman Joe Lentol, and Local Councilman Steve Levin. Through eminent domain, the city would be allowed to seize the privately owned 11-acre site for completion of the 28-acre park.
Mayor de Blasio says the city is still willing to negotiate a fair deal with Brodsky for the space. “The city remains open to discussion with the owner about ways to guarantee that the community’s needs are met,” said a city spokesperson. The same spokesperson explained why the city would like to avoid using eminent domain in this situation as much as possible. Since a judge would be responsible for determining the value of the land, it could end up saving taxpayers money due to the “project influence rule.”
Under this rule, the city could make a case for the 2005 pre-zoning rates under the implications that the rezoning would never have been agreed upon if it weren’t for the park. However, Brodsky and his lawyers can counter that argument by saying that rezoning would have eventually happened anyway and increased the value of his property.