New York City’s $100 million offer for the CitiStorage site owned by Norman Brodsky expired on Monday causing local politicians and park advocates to ask city hall to seize the land from the property owner under eminent domain.
The CitiStorage site now stands vacant after a massive fire destroyed the storage building in 2015. It is the final piece needed by the city to complete Bushwick Inlet Park, the planned 27-acre waterfront park in northern Brooklyn. Brodsky rejected the city’s $100 million offer, calling it a “low-ball offer.”
Eminent domain would allow the city to legally seize the land for public use, as long as the owner is paid a fair price for the land. Should de Blasio use eminent domain to seize the property, it would be up to a judge to decide what that fair price is.
Activists have claimed that a judge could determine the value of the site based on its 2005 pre-zoning value. The land itself would not have been re-zoned had the city not planned on building a park there in the first place, lawyers for the park argue. Opposition counter-claims that the influence of the park itself could raise land value in the eyes of a judge.
The City isn’t ready just yet to exercise eminent domain, and is still open to negotiations with Brodsky, who at the time of the offer’s expiration was out of the country.
“The city remains open to discussions with the owner about ways to guarantee that the community’s needs are met,” mayoral spokesperson Natalie Grybauskas said in a press conference.