Law firm slams Albany’s notion to choose parking loads by eminent domain

ALBANY – Strategies by the metropolis of Albany to obtain 11 parcels of land in downtown Albany from a regional household by eminent area for the proposed Liberty Park task are being blasted by their lawyer.

William Keniry, an lawyer for the relatives of the late Paul Chambers, who died in 2003, explained throughout a community listening to Wednesday by the finance committee of the Albany Industrial Growth Agency that the proposed land seizure was remaining completed illegally.

Information of the general public hearing, streamed on YouTube, have been very first noted by the Albany Business enterprise Overview.

The IDA seeks to obtain the land – a lot less than an acre in overall space – on behalf of Capitalize Albany Corp., the city’s financial enhancement arm, as the last piece of a approximately eight-acre spot that surrounds Liberty Sq. in reduce downtown.

Town and state officers have envisioned the region for what is becoming known as Liberty Park, a likely $100 million combined-use building venture that would consist of residential, commercial and retail house, replacing an usually blighted spot generally utilised for downtown parking. The web site experienced at one particular time been prepared for the city’s conference heart, which was eventually crafted on another web page subsequent to the Occasions Union Centre.

The IDA has reportedly been striving to negotiate the sale of the .88 acres owned by Chambers’ family for the past two several years, though Keniry stated Wednesday all through the public hearing that his consumers were being by no means presented with a created offer.

Keniry, the only human being to talk for the duration of the listening to, held by way of Zoom, reported Chambers’ widow and her family use revenue from the land – leased by an affiliate of Capitalize Albany for parking – to pay their costs.

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

A group of parcels owned by yet another element of the Chambers clan that was about a half-acre in full was acquired by Capitalize Albany past year for $3.3 million. The revenue was portion of a $15 million grant from the condition to help Capitalize Albany receive the land essential for the Liberty Park project.

The challenge has huge guidance from business enterprise groups and civic leaders.

Keniry explained the principle for Liberty Park is nevertheless imprecise, and the town has no standing to receive it through eminent domain.

“The simple fact is, the property is basically not deserted, and it truly is not blighted,” Keniry mentioned. “It truly is actively made use of.”

Keniry also alleged that the community was not offered enough notice of the general public listening to, and the language made use of in the listening to recognize was far too imprecise, calling the project only a “strategy” with no facts.

“The assembly and public hearing are unlawful,” reported Keniry.

Joe Scott, the IDA’s legal professional, was in conferences all working day Friday, but he instructed the Business enterprise Evaluate that the IDA was next the law and that the Chambers would receive a fair price for the land. The entire IDA board is scheduled to satisfy future 7 days.