Pfizer sticks it to New London
At the time, New London, CT was trying to clear out the residents of its Fort Trumbull neighborhood in order to make room for a hotel, health club, and office complex, all facilities designed to enhance the area, which was dominated by a large R&D facility owned by Pfizer.
Well, as it happens there are no spandex-clad people exercising in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood--the buildings still stand condemned, and the redevelopment was never completed. Nor, it seems will it be: in what must be a monumental tragedy for the city of New London, Pfizer has announced it will pull out of this facility and move its R&D operations over the river to its center in Groton.
An editorial in today's Wall Street Journal puts it best:
[Pfizer's move is] especially galling because the five Supreme Court Justices cited the development plan as a major factor in rationalizing their Kelo decision. Justice Anthony Kennedy called the plan "comprehensive," while Justice John Paul Stevens insisted that "The city has carefully formulated a development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including, but not limited to, new jobs and increased tax revenue." So much for that.A train-station project in my home town took a strip of land from a warehouse owner under eminent domain. At the time, the owner objected, saying (and here he's backed up by no less an authority than the United States Constitution) that he was due compensation for the land he lost. The town, in order to forestall a lawsuit, groused about his outrageous claims but eventually compensated him with $1. Their position was that the economic development spurred by the new train station would increase the value of his land, and that should be enough. Well, years later, the train station is not built and the development company hired to do the work is bankrupt.
Let's not think the issue of eminent-domain abuse is dead.
Technorati Tags: Kelo, New London, Pfizer, Eminent Domain, Fifth Amendment