Attorney slams Albany’s thought to consider parking a lot by eminent area

Catrina P. Smith

ALBANY – Designs by the metropolis of Albany to acquire 11 parcels of land in downtown Albany from a area relatives by eminent domain for the proposed Liberty Park task are currently being blasted by their lawyer.

William Keniry, an legal professional for the family of the late Paul Chambers, who died in 2003, claimed all through a community hearing Wednesday by the finance committee of the Albany Industrial Progress Agency that the proposed land seizure was staying accomplished illegally.

Facts of the community listening to, streamed on YouTube, had been initial claimed by the Albany Business Overview.

The IDA seeks to obtain the land – a lot less than an acre in complete place – on behalf of Capitalize Albany Corp., the city’s financial progress arm, as the remaining piece of a roughly 8-acre place that surrounds Liberty Sq. in decrease downtown.

City and condition officials have envisioned the area for what is getting identified as Liberty Park, a likely $100 million blended-use building undertaking that would consist of residential, industrial and retail space, changing an if not blighted location largely utilised for downtown parking. The internet site experienced at one time been planned for the city’s conference center, which was finally crafted on another web-site next to the Situations Union Middle.

The IDA has reportedly been making an attempt to negotiate the sale of the .88 acres owned by Chambers’ household for the previous two years, even though Keniry reported Wednesday during the public listening to that his clientele have been in no way presented with a composed offer.

Keniry, the only man or woman to speak throughout the hearing, held via Zoom, claimed Chambers’ widow and her relatives use profits from the land – leased by an affiliate of Capitalize Albany for parking – to shell out their payments.

“They do not want their property condemned and taken from them,” Keniry mentioned.

A team of parcels owned by another element of the Chambers clan that was about a 50 percent-acre in total was obtained by Capitalize Albany final calendar year for $3.3 million. The cash was portion of a $15 million grant from the condition to aid Capitalize Albany get the land wanted for the Liberty Park job.

The venture has vast guidance from enterprise groups and civic leaders.

Keniry explained the notion for Liberty Park is however obscure, and the town has no standing to purchase it by way of eminent domain.

“The actuality is, the property is simply just not deserted, and it really is not blighted,” Keniry stated. “It really is actively made use of.”

Keniry also alleged that the public was not presented sufficient notice of the general public hearing, and the language applied in the listening to discover was also vague, calling the job only a “concept” with no information.

“The conference and general public hearing are unlawful,” explained Keniry.

Joe Scott, the IDA’s attorney, was in meetings all day Friday, but he told the Business Critique that the IDA was following the regulation and that the Chambers would get a truthful price for the land. The full IDA board is scheduled to meet upcoming 7 days.

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