Take My Business, Please
It didn't take long to see the effect of the Supreme Court's idiotic decision to allow state and local goverments to take your property at will, for any reason. In nearby Oakland, two business owners had their property confiscated by the city government so that a developer could build high-priced condos on the lot.
Last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling approving a Connecticut city's plan to take private land by eminent domain may seem far away. But to John Revelli, whose family has operated a tire shop near downtown Oakland for decades, the implications hit home on Friday. A team of contractors hired by the city of Oakland packed the contents of his small auto shop in a moving van and evicted Revelli from the property his family has owned since 1949.The Uptown Project is the brain child of a real estate developer named Albert B. Ratner, co-Chairman of the Forest City Enterprises, the prime contractor of the condominium complex. As it turns out, this jerk Ratner and a zillion of his relatives have given about a zillion dollars to just about every politician under the sun from both parties. Which just goes to show you that you really can't trust anyone in politics today.
The city of Oakland, using eminent domain, seized Revelli Tire and the adjacent property, owner-operated Autohouse, on 20th Street between Telegraph and San Pablo avenues on Friday and evicted the longtime property owners, who have refused to sell to clear the way for a large housing development. The two properties, which total 6,500 square feet, were being forced to move or sell because their businesses are on a larger section of land that is slated for the Uptown Project, a city-subsidized real estate development that is expected to include nearly 1,200 apartments and condominiums.
The project's wedge-shaped lot, just west of the 19th Street BART Station, includes several blocks roughly bounded by 20th Street, 17th Street, Telegraph Avenue and San Pablo Avenue. Both Revelli Tire and Autohouse, owned and operated by Tony Fung, are on the northern edge of the project in the 400 block of 20th Street, which is also called Thomas L. Berkley Way.