Friday, August 08, 2008

The squeeze play continues

By news reports yesterday one was lead to believe that the property rights battle between MDHA & Lionstone group against Joy Ford and her Country International Records was over. There was a compromise. Things are going to work out, no more story...move on ladies and gentlemen.

MDHA offers compromise
Music Row compromise offered
The land battle may finally be over
Music Row landowner offered a deal

However, driving out to work a polling station for a candidate last night I heard Phil Valentine's radio program regarding Joy Ford's Country International Records and the news that's all over the media that there's been some sort of compromise. According to Phil who talked with Miss Joy---no compromise has been worked out and she was, as of yesterday, not in receipt of what a widely circulated press release stated she had gotten. Granted the compromise offer by MDHA may have been sent but, as Phil explained it hasn't been received, let alone thoughly examined and agreed to. Frankly, I see this offer to buy what little parking area Miss Joy has as a squeeze play that just further constrains her normal business operation. She may get cash in hand but the question remains about where her clients are supposed to park their buses and trailers. I cannot see Metro allowing them to park on the severely curved street that is Music Circle East.

So you can't believe everything that you read in the papers and a press release is only one side of the story. Things are getting pretty hinky here. This is certainly a situation to watch.

Also, MDHA and Lionstone may want to turn their attention to the situation in Long Branch, NJ where a higher court has just sent back down the legal pipeline another eminent domain case.

The court upheld a number of the city's actions, including its right to delegate its eminent domain authority to the developer but said Long Branch failed to show the condemned homes met the legal definition of blighted.

The unanimous 85-page ruling was viewed by critics of eminent domain as another blow to towns by an increasingly skeptical New Jersey judiciary. Over the past year, the courts have been reining in towns' use of sweeping seizure powers to make way for large-scale redevelopment.(snip)

Thursday's decision said an area cannot be considered blighted solely because it generates a lower amount of property taxes for a municipality and less spending at local businesses than it would if it were redeveloped.

That would set a dangerous precedent, the court said, prompting seizures of property based on a "perceived insufficiency of wealth" and setting up a situation in which properties would be continuously subject to redevelopment.

NJ Star-Ledger

And this is the situation we have here in Nashville. This property is no longer blighted EXCEPT for the condition of the property owned by Lionstone Group which continues to be unattended and bring down the value of the neighborhood. In fact while the Best Western Hotel posts a "Welcome to Music Row" message on their sign the view from the guests' windows, thanks to Lionstone Group, is less than scenic---unless you're into 6 foot weeds, trash, pot-holed parking lots and large puddles filled with green water. Maybe it's supposed to be inspiration for the latest county song. But I'm not buying it.

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