Projects associated with eminent domain

The following are ongoing cases where a Long Island town or village is using, or has threatened to use, eminent domain to seize private property and sell it to developers for private projects, and the reason cited by that government for exercising its power.

Each case has a link to the Long Island Index land use map for each area. When the map loads, the area of note is outlined with a yellow line. The color key for land use is on the left, along with statistics about the area. Click the "Compare" button under the pie chart to see how the area's land use compares to the rest of Long Island.

Project: Argo Theatre
Location: Southwest corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Elmont Road, Elmont.
Current: Small businesses, including a dentist's office, real estate office, discount store and mini mart.
Proposed: A full-service supermarket and other ancillary uses as part of a $9.7 million urban renewal project.
Rationale for using eminent domain: Blight.
Details: The town has announced plans to condemn properties from 23 owners if they and a private developer are unable to strike deals on their own.
Long Island Index map: Elmont land use

Project: Courtesy Hotel
Location: 130 Hempstead Ave., West Hempstead.
Current: Hotel.
Proposed: Trammell Crow Residential, the developer, plans to construct a four-story residential building with 150 units atop a two-story underground garage.
Rationale for using eminent domain: Blight.
Details: In 2005, Supervisor Kate Murray announced the town's intention to use the power of eminent domain to seize the four-story building, which officials had said was the site of prostitution and drug sale, from the owner. Trammell Crow and the property owner later reached a private deal.
Long Island Index map: West Hempstead land use

Project: Downtown Baldwin
Location: Northwest corner of Grand Avenue and Merrick Road and the corner of Prospect Street and Gale Avenue, Baldwin.
Current: Small businesses and apartments.
Proposed: Retail and residential.
Rationale for using eminent domain: Blight.
Details: In March 2006, Hempstead Town officials declared blighted an area that included 20 mixed-use buildings. Under the plan, 47 apartments and several businesses, including delis and a hair salon, would have to relocate. The town would step in to seize the properties by eminent domain if a private developer chosen by the town and the owners are unable to reach deals.
Long Island Index map: Baldwin land use

Project: Three properties near the Westbury Theater
Location: 330 Cross St., 272 Post Ave., and 327 Winthrop St., Village of Westbury.
Current: A house, four apartments and an empty lot.
Proposed: A parking lot for the Westbury Theater.
Rationale for using eminent domain: Public purpose. Westbury Theater is a cornerstone of the village's downtown revitalization.
Details: In October 2007, village officials condemned three parcels. In October 2009, officials stopped the condemnation process on two parcels after agreeing to let developer Lowe Properties build its required parking facility on top of a village-owned parking lot at Madison Street, a block south of theater. The third parcel, a building with four apartments, remains under condemnation.
Long Island Index map: Westbury land use

Project: Main Street Redevelopment Project
Location: Main Street, Village of Hempstead.
Current: Some homes but most of the 53 properties are small businesses, including bodegas, restaurants, delis, beauty salons, a nail parlor, a car repair shop. There are also empty lots and boarded-up buildings.
Proposed: A $2 billion mixed-used project that includes housing, retail and office buildings.
Rationale for using eminent domain: Blight.
Details: Mayor Wayne Hall, Sr. was dealt a setback two years ago when he failed to get the megaproject approved by the village board. This year, the mayor said, he has the votes and plans to revive the 26-acre project. In 2007, the board agreed to seize the privately owned properties by eminent domain if the developer and owners could not strike deals on their own.
Long Island Index map: Hempstead land use

Project: Superblock
Location: The site is located between Riverside Boulevard and Long Beach Road and between Broadway and the boardwalk, City of Long Beach.
Current: Vacant.
Proposed: A beachfront hotel and luxury condominium project facing the Atlantic Ocean.
Rationale for using eminent domain: Blight.
Details: The project has been in the making for more than two decades. The City of Long Beach used eminent domain to condemn six acres of vacant privately-owned land in 2007. The City paid $39 million for the land using the developer's money. Within weeks of taking title, Long Beach transferred ownership to the developer.
Long Island Index map: Long Beach land use

Project: Reynolds Channel
Location: Waterfront site bounded by Long Island Rail Road Bridge to the west and Long Beach Boulevard bridge to the east, City of Long Beach.
Current: Pharmaceutical company, two utility sites, vacant land owned by city, two empty buildings, water tanks, city-owned recycling yard.
Proposed: A $500-million multiuse residential and commercial project.
Rationale for using eminent domain: Blight (pending study).
Details: The proposal - which had called for six mixed-used towers , a restaurant , a marina and an open-air concert area - is on hold. The City did so in 2008 to resolve issues surrounding two public utility sites within the project's footprint.
Long Island Index map: Long Beach land use

Project: Wyandanch Rising
Location: Downtown Wyandanch.
Current: A mix of single-family homes, small businesses, empty stores and vacant lots.
Proposed: A mixed-use development that includes multistory buildings with businesses on street level and apartments above.
Rationale for using eminent domain: Blight.
Details: Babylon officials have identified 76 properties as potential redevelopment sites and have already purchased 18 of those properties, four through eminent domain.
Long Island Index map: Wyandanch land use

Project: Plaza Theatre
Location: East Main Street, East Patchogue.
Current: Vacant.
Proposed: In discussion. Two of several options are mixed-use retail and affordable housing.
Rationale for using eminent domain: Blight.
Details: On Oct. 27, 2009, Brookhaven Town board voted unanimously to condemn the theater, which showed its last movie more than 20 years ago.
Long Island Index map: Patchogue land use

Project: New Village
Location: Main Street, Village of Patchogue.
Current: Two vacant buildings and the restored Wedgewood Building with some tenants.
Proposed: A $130-million hotel-rental complex.
Rationale for using eminent domain: Blight.
Details: The developer's plan calls for demolishing the former Swezey's Department Store, vacant since 2000, and in its place build a hotel, up to eight stories tall, plus retail, commercial and office space, as well as 240 rental units. In 2007, the village began proceedings to take the property from its owner, Joel Furman, by eminent domain. Furman sold it to the developer, Tritec Development Group, before condemnation proceedings were completed. Critics of the project fear it will strain the village's sewers and streets.
Long Island Index map: Patchogue land use

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