The city is claiming that they can offer more proof that the area in question was blighted while the MTOTSA advocates are claiming complete and utter victory and vindication. In reality, the best thing that could happen would be a settlement of the whole matter but the worst case scenario would be an appeal to the NJ State Supreme Court—which isn’t really all that bad of a scenario.
The LBA continues to argue that eminent domain is no longer required because market forces should now be allowed to do what they do. In an earlier post, we said:
Now that the first phases of redevelopment are complete and Pier Village and
Beachfront North are now here, along with a new recession and a slumping housing
market, the real estate market (not eminent domain) should dictate what
properties are sold for and whether they are on the market in the first place.
If redevelopment was successful then the area is no longer blighted and no
longer in need of city-sponsored redevelopment.
So, in the best interests of all parties, the city should be ready to bargain at the table at current market rates if the city feels like they need to be the ones bargaining. More appropriately, however, the developers interested in the land should be the ones at the table ready to bargain at market rates. Most importantly, however, the MTOTSA people need to wake up to the realities of the situation and must be willing to bargain, be willing to sit at the table and be ready to accept current market rates for their property.
The courts did NOT rule that the city was WRONG and that eminent domain is BAD—despite the claims of MTOTSA advocates from around the globe.
If the MTOTSA folks feel like they now have a court endorsed “get out of eminent domain” card they are mistaken.
If the city feels like they can continue to force their will on the entire city for the sole purpose of forcing the successful conclusion of the full redevelopment plan they too are mistaken.
SO, lets all get on the same sheet of music.
City: Be a team player, avoid more discord, make a serious offer appropriate to 2008 market rates. But first, expect the developer to do it instead. The LBA seriously doubts developers are falling all over themselves to build housing right now.
DEVELOPERS: Remember you are dealing with a proud city of residents who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Long after you have made your millions and have left us, the community of citizens will remain here trying to find our little piece of the American Dream.
MTOTSA: Get what you can while you can. Stonewalling is NOT a long term strategy for you. If they offer you money and a home (like they did before) TAKE IT.
In any event, the Long Branch Advocate is pretty sure we haven’t heard the end of this all yet.