Ed Driscoll

Pfizer Abandons Site Of Infamous Kelo Eminent Domain Taking

The Washington Examiner notes, “Ms. Kelo and many others lost their home, but the land is still undeveloped. Now Pfizer is abandoning the city altogether”:

The private homes New London, Conn., took through eminent domain from Suzette Kelo and others, are torn down now, but Pfizer has just announced that it closing up shop at the research facility that led to the condemnation.

Leading drugmakers Pfizer and Wyeth have merged, and as a result, are trimming some jobs. That includes axing the 1,400 jobs at their sparkling new research & development facility in New London.

To lure those jobs to New London a decade ago, the local government promised to demolish the older residential neighborhood adjacent to the land Pfizer was buying for next-to-nothing. Suzette Kelo fought the taking to the Supreme Court, and lost, as five justices said this redvelopment met the constitutional hurdle of “public use.”

Ms. Kelo and many others lost their home, but the land is still undeveloped. Now Pfizer is abandoning the city altogether.

Scott Bullock, Kelo’s co-counsel in the case, told me: “This shows the folly of these redvelopment projects that use massive taxpayer subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare and abuse eminent domain.”

Meanwhile, at Reason’s Hit & Run blog, Damon Root spots some additional eminent domain abuse, this time in Brooklyn: “Bruce Ratner Finally Admits It: ‘This isn’t a public project”

Last month, New York’s highest court heard oral arguments in Goldstein v. New York State Urban Development Corporation, which centered on the state’s controversial use of eminent domain on behalf of real estate tycoon Bruce Ratner, who wants to build a basketball stadium, a hotel, and some office and apartment towers in central Brooklyn. As I’ve previously argued, it’s a blatant case of eminent domain abuse.

And as it turns out, Bruce Ratner himself agrees with that judgement. In a startling interview with Crain’s New York Business, Ratner finally admitted what his critics have maintained all along: “This isn’t a public project.”

Read the whole thing.™