Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Land Grab Update

by Andrew Gillen

Awhile back, I commented on the efforts of Columbia to convince the state of New York to use eminent domain to obtain additional land for a planned expansion. More details continue to trickle out, including this (keep in mind that in New York, land must be classified as blighted before eminent domain can be invoked):

The state of New York hired a firm that works for Columbia to carry out the blight study. The firm used personnel who were working for Columbia on the project, and Columbia reviewed this work as it progressed. You will perhaps not be surprised to learn that AKRF's report declared the Manhattanville neighborhood was blighted--the precise result Columbia desired.

What's even more damning is that Columbia actually paid for the blight study...

This is not how expansions should be done, and if even half the details in the stories (this one and the earlier one) are correct, then Columbia should be ashamed.

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