City Ready to Use Eminent Domain at Willets Point

Now that the city has acquired about 65 percent of the Willets Point property it needs to effect its planned urban renewal by purchase, it's ready to start seizing the rest. The Iron Triangle Tracker says property owner told them "representatives from Cornerstone Realty Group, a firm hired by the city to assist in business relocation in the area, canvassed the Iron Triangle on Wednesday informing people that the city intended to begin eminent domain proceedings and a letter would arrive Thursday detailing the process." There are about 22 holdout acres remaining.

The New York Economic Development Corp will hold a hearing on June 22 at Flushing Town Hall to get the process going. Queens Crap thanks the Mayor "for steamrolling the working people of Queens for your rich developer friends!"

Meanwhile the Times profiles local immigrant workers who have availed the Willets Point Worker Assistance program, which offers to teach them basic English and job skills, regardless of immigration status ("We made a decision not to think about this," says an EDC executive). Less than ten percent of the estimated Willets Point workforce has signed up, which the Times attributes mostly to deportation fears. The paper describes a class: "21 students convened around large wooden desks, rehearsing the words in a dialogue between a factory foreman and his apprentice: supply closet, log book, conveyor belt." Photo (cc) nickjohnson.

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