For over the past 15 years, politicians have misused the use
of eminent domain in order to benefit Big Business over small business and individuals. This growing nightmare
throughout the country has created a legally sanctioned immoral use of the eminent domain power.
William Minic is the owner of Minic Designs, a world-renowned custom woodworking company in East Harlem NYC. His works have been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum and other museums around the world. Minic is also a highly sought after premiere developer of fine furniture.
One Sunday afternoon he finds out though an article in the NY Times that a Mega Retail Complex is coming in and his 72 year old business is being condemned and demolished. So how could Minic be kicked out without any hearing or prior notice? By the new shell game, the new slight of hand called Eminent Domain.
In the Minic case, NYS Empire State Development Corporation and a private commercial developer have teamed up to move Minic out and move Costco and Home Depot in. This project is known as
"East River Plaza". Home Depot,
who's sales exceeded 24 billion last year, did not even have to bid for the property they are taking.
But William Minic didn't sit by idly. Together with other outraged small business owners, he filed a lawsuit challenging the City
Council's approval this eminent domain madness.
The lawsuit is based on the following claims:
- The condemnation of property owned by existing businesses for private profit is illegal. No public good is involved.
- The Environmental Impact Statement produced by the Developer
(Blumenfeld Development Corporation)and the NYS Empire State Development Corporation, the lead agency for the project, fails to adequately assess the
project's negative impact on neighborhood character, air quality, traffic congestion and the growing asthma crisis in East Harlem and the South Bronx.
- The Developer has illegally purchased zoning changes from the City of New York in violation of the NYC Charter.
Where does Minic relocate without losing their existing clientele? How can any business plan a move without out a concept of what amount of money they will be compensated for?
A study conducted by Dr Gideon Kanner of Loyola University in LA CA shows that 85% of successful businesses fail after being relocated after Eminent Domain.
"Most of East Harlem is in the Empowerment Zone. The concept of the economic development zone was to help small business grow and empower the community. Not for Big Business and Government to push out all the existing businesses"
For more information: contact William Minic 212 410 5500
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