Some last minute machinations seem to have improved the prospects of the Willets Point redevelopment plan, which faces the City Council this afternoon. There was Hiram Monserrate’s deal with the Mayor yesterday, adding more affordable housing units to the planned commercial and residential development. Now more businesses have negotiated relocation deals with the city, and we learn via Iron Triangle Tracker that three of the bigger businesses in Willets Point — Tully Construction, House of Spices and Fodera Foods — are being incorporated into the plan and won’t have to sell out or be seized.
That deal, and the Willets Point acreage the city has already bought, make the plan harder to resist. Still, some Councilmembers have made last-minute statements of concern, signaling what they want out of the hearings. Peter Vallone Jr. says the issue of eminent domain “has still not been fully addressed,” and John Liu says, “The EDC must project at least some semblance of fairness” for the landowners. Tony Avella remains opposed: “Let’s spend a couple hundred million dollars to buy out property and take the rest. Where’s the American dream in that?”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 13, 2008