Friday, July 22, 2011

Eminent Domain as Weapon

Read this fascinating article about the city of Hoboken, New Jersey using the threat of eminent domain proceedings as a "negotiating tool" with land owners in the city.

While such threats have always been implicit in such bargaining it is rare that I have seen the promise of state action so transparently celebrated by city officials.

This trend is DANGEROUS.  Who knows best how to develop land and actually make a profit?  Politicians (elected and appointed) or real estate developers?

Hoboken is an old city in need of renovation and development.  Eminent domain threats is not an effective way of attracting investment capital.  It reeks of unfair bargaining power.  Even members of the general public who are not fans of real estate development or growth generally despise the practice.

Does anyone remember Kelo v. City of New London?