Law firm slams Albany’s idea to choose parking heaps by eminent domain

Catrina P. Smith

ALBANY – Plans by the metropolis of Albany to receive 11 parcels of land in downtown Albany from a community loved ones by eminent domain for the proposed Liberty Park undertaking are staying blasted by their lawyer.

William Keniry, an lawyer for the household of the late Paul Chambers, who died in 2003, said through a public hearing Wednesday by the finance committee of the Albany Industrial Growth Agency that the proposed land seizure was staying performed illegally.

Specifics of the community listening to, streamed on YouTube, were very first reported by the Albany Organization Assessment.

The IDA seeks to obtain the land – a lot less than an acre in complete room – on behalf of Capitalize Albany Corp., the city’s economic progress arm, as the final piece of a roughly 8-acre area that surrounds Liberty Square in reduced downtown.

Metropolis and condition officials have envisioned the place for what’s getting named Liberty Park, a likely $100 million mixed-use design undertaking that would contain residential, industrial and retail place, replacing an normally blighted space generally utilised for downtown parking. The web site had at a person time been prepared for the city’s conference middle, which was ultimately designed on an additional site following to the Periods Union Heart.

The IDA has reportedly been attempting to negotiate the sale of the .88 acres owned by Chambers’ family for the previous two a long time, though Keniry explained Wednesday in the course of the general public hearing that his clients ended up never ever offered with a penned offer.

Keniry, the only man or woman to discuss all through the listening to, held by way of Zoom, mentioned 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 explained.

A group of parcels owned by yet another portion of the Chambers clan that was about a half-acre in complete was obtained by Capitalize Albany final yr for $3.3 million. The cash was aspect of a $15 million grant from the state to support Capitalize Albany get the land essential for the Liberty Park venture.

The job has large assist from business enterprise groups and civic leaders.

Keniry stated the principle for Liberty Park is nevertheless vague, and the city has no standing to receive it via eminent domain.

“The truth is, the property is just not deserted, and it is really not blighted,” Keniry mentioned. “It is really actively used.”

Keniry also alleged that the general public was not provided enough detect of the community listening to, and the language employed in the listening to see was also imprecise, contacting the undertaking only a “notion” with no specifics.

“The meeting and community listening to are unlawful,” stated Keniry.

Joe Scott, the IDA’s lawyer, was in conferences all day Friday, but he explained to the Small business Critique that the IDA was next the law and that the Chambers would receive a good value for the land. The complete IDA board is scheduled to meet up with subsequent 7 days.

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