WPCNR DOWNTOWN LOWDOWN. December 4, 2019 UPDATED 10 PM EST UPDATED 11:30 AM DECEMBER 5 UPDATED WITH LIVE VIDEO, DECEMBER 6, 2019 8:55 AM:
The White Plains Urban Renewal Agency voted unanimously this morning in city hall to consider eminent domain being used to acquire the 13 following properties on the North side of East Post Road from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to South Lexington Avenue for future unspecified projects yet to be determined.
Counsel Shawn Griffin of Harris Beach told the Urban Renewal Board that by voting for the resolutions before them, they were not making any firm commitment to eminent domain of the properties and in future months the pros and cons of possible uses of the properties would be brought to the board. Griffin said that should the eminent domain process be deemed advantageous then the city would make an offer to the property owners. The city would then, if the owner(s) did not agree it was acceptable, the city would take the eminent domain requests to the court and a judge would rule on eminent domain. Griffin in addition pointed out that the owner(s) could then sue for a higher offer.
Gabriel Arrango, owner of EZHousing, 149 Grand Street told the CitizeNetReporter he would be meeting with his tenants tomorrow to discuss the situation Arrango told WPCNR he had told the city “Let’s make a deal.” He was concerned about appropriate alternative housing for the residential tenants of his buildings, as well as the investments his commercial tenants have made in their space, and compensation for them.
Arrango told WPCNR, he could not decide how to proceed without an offer from the city, and how the city would also reimburse commercial tenants and relocation of his apartment residents. He said he would consider contesting the city judgment that the areas targeted were a detriment to the neighborhood and should be replaced with new structures.
After the meeting adjourned at 9:55 A.M. Commissioner of Planning Christopher Gomez said the Urban Renewal Board may meet again in about 90 days on the matter.
The properties under consideration for eminent domain acquisition by the city are
223-225 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard
1-3 East Post Road
2-4 East Post Road
60 East Post Road
42 East Post Eoad
34 East Post Road
26-28 East Post Road
22-24 East Post Road
18-20 East Post Road
14-16 East Post Road
12 East Poad Road
188-188 South Lexington Avenue
190-192 South Lexington Avenue