Two years ago, a judge sided with the Birnbaums. The judge told the CRDA / Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to go pound sand. They can’t just take the Birnbaums’ three-story home in Atlantic City. Especially since the CRDA has no REAL plans for this area.
His ruling said the authority does not have the power to “condemn a property only to have it sit idly, potentially for years on end, as they wait for the right project to present itself” as was (and remains) the case for 61 surrounding properties.
Institute for Justice attorneys took the decision to mean this: “the history of failed government redevelopment projects in Atlantic City demonstrated that this project was likely to be just another such failure.”
Judge ruled CRDA was abusing eminent domain powers in this Atlantic City case.
CRDA claims they need this land in order to promote tourism. Really.
Oddly, the CRDA refuses to install brighter lights in the tourism district. Most would agree that better lighting and safer streets would be the best investment for now…. to boost Atlantic City Tourism.
Video from NJTV news:
The CRDA says they don’t develop land, they only assemble the pieces for developers.
CRDA believes they can take any property for any purpose whether or not for immediate use.
The court plans to rule on this CRDA vs Birnbaum eminent domain case within the next six months.
The Birnbaum family have owned this house for 50 years.