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Eminent Domain Smackdown : Store Owners 3, Pinnacle 1

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 19th June 2008 2:22am
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Pinnacle Atlantic City Eminent Domain Smackdown

And the final score from this weeks meeting of the Atlantic City Planning Board Eminent Domain Smackdown Xtreme Championships :

Atlantic City StoreOwners : 3
Pinnacle Entertainment : 1

The backstory - Pinnacle Entertainment has been rousting about the various parcels (full size map) surrounding the former Sands Atlantic City casino looking to add to their spiny, yet huge, land mass. With all prospective sellers essentially bought off, they turned to the AC Planning Committee to enact eminent domain via the casino redevelopment project. The prospects for store owners to keep their property was so bleak, some of the owners' attorneys didn't even bother to show up to the hearing.

Pinnacle Landmass 2008 - June

The big shocker : three of the four plots up for absorption escaped the grip of the imperial casinos' grip. The big winners (outlined in blue in the newly updated map) are the Park Lane Hotel, Fischer's Flowers and surrounding buildings (in the middle of the 'Four Plots' block), Center City Deli (and a few other business in the Deli etc. block).

The big loser is Kim Son Jewelry. The store is owned by Quang Ha, a Vietnamese immigrant who came to America during the massive boat lift from communist North Vietnam in the late 1970's. In a press conference to raise awareness about the proposed eminent domain seizure of his property, Quang Ha said "I worked hard for years and finally realized my goal of opening up my very own store-and now the city is telling me I'm not good enough? I am the American Dream!"

Pinnacle expressed pleasure at the decision.

Would it be so bad to offer retail space, and possibly investment into a new Kim Son Jewelry located in the shopping promenade at the future casino? That would be the American dream.

More at the Press of Atlantic City and backstory from Castle Coalition : Citizens Fighting Eminent Domain Abuse

Comments & Discussion:

I never saw any more about this store owner, Quang Ha, in the local AC paper. So a friend sent an e mail to Castle Coalition for follow up."Thanks for your question. Atlantic City rescinded the entire blight designation, so Quang Ha's property, as well as those of his neighbors, are safe. Unfortunately, there hasn't been any media coverage of the fact, but Quang Ha's attorney sent us notification some time ago."From Chris Grodecki at Castle Coalition There was plenty in the local paper at the time this was going on about the greedy, tawdry business owners, standing in the way of progress. But not a word on the conclusion of the battle.

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