WPIRA issues statement on city property claims

The Willets Point Industry and Realty Association just released a statement blasting the city for casting property owners in a poor light and claiming it has control of 40 percent of the land.

The statement comes in response to yesterday’s deal with House of Spices which brought city control of the land at Willets Point to about 20 percent — although nearly 40 percent if you include the roadways, which the city already owns.

“Let’s be clear – we are not “holdouts” and we have always encouraged our members to work with the City to try to negotiate a deal that is fair and equitable, but let’s not kid ourselves, we wouldn’t be having these discussions with the city if the threat of eminent domain wasn’t on the table,” the statement reads.

Full statement after the jump.

The WPIRA was formed over three years ago with the specific intent of communicating our needs to the City. With their redevelopment plan in jeopardy, a week before the final City Council vote, the City is now motivated to strike deals with the businesses.

Let’s be clear – we are not “holdouts” and we have always encouraged our members to work with the City to try to negotiate a deal that is fair and equitable, but let’s not kid ourselves, we wouldn’t be having these discussions with the city if the threat of eminent domain wasn’t on the table.

As of yesterday, the city falsely claims to have control of 40% of the property at Willets Point. But they have intentionally left out the fact that these deals are only good if the Mayor’s plan is approved by the City Council.

They have included the streets which were always owned by the City to prop up the percentage. It is our belief that the EDC has contracts on less than 20% of the land. If the vote were today, the City would be asking the Council for authorization to use eminent domain on 80% of the land at Willets Point.

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