Little pink houses for you and me

13 11 2009


Pfizer to Leave City That Won Supreme Court Land-Use Case

From the NYTimes story by Patrick McGeehan:

“Look what they did,” Mr. Cristofaro said on Thursday. “They stole our home for economic development. It was all for Pfizer, and now they get up and walk away.”

That sentiment has been echoing around New London since Monday, when Pfizer, the giant drug company,announced it would lead the city just eight years after its arrival led to a debate about urban redevelopment that rumbled through the Unites States Supreme Court, and reset the boundaries for governments to seize private land for commercial use.

Pfizer said it would pull 1,400 jobs out of New London within two years and move most of them a few miles away to a campus it owns in Groton, Conn., as a cost-cutting measure. It would leave behind the city’s biggest office complex and an adjacent swath of barren land that was cleared of dozens of homes to make room for a hotel, stores and condominiums that were never built.

Robert  Pero, a city council member who’s about to become mayor, noted that the city lost over a thousand jobs with the move, but retain the building.

Then again, he added, “I don’t know who’s going to be looking for a building like that in this economy.”

He also noted that he was unhappy that Pfizer didn’t contact the city before deciding to leave.

“I’m sure that there are people that are waiting out there to say, ‘I told you so,’ ” Mr. Pero said. “I don’t know that even today you can say, ‘I told you so.’ ”

Hmmm. And yet many of those screwed over by their own city retain the ability to say precisely that.

Large swaths of barren land where neighborhoods once stood, driven out not for the public good (always a tough call, but if not always justified, at least justifiable) but because regular citizens living their lives don’t produce enough profit benefit to the city.

Not that that would even happen in New York. I mean, the Atlantic Yards project—it’s all good.




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