Watch Out, Olympia!

by: Joseph Grather
3 Aug 2011

From news across the nation, comes this article from Olympia, Washington.  “Call it Blighted and Get it Help.”  Help is clearly in the eyes of the beholder.

The “blight” designation may ultimately help “redevelop” Olympia’s downtown, but take it from this New Jersey attorney, it’s not good for property owners in the downtown area.  The blight designation is the first step in a relatively long process that usually results in the government’s taking of private property by exercise of eminent domain and the subsequent conveyance of the property to another private citizen called a “redeveloper”.  The article mentions that the leaders of Olympia would be “purchasing” the property, but there isn’t any mention of eminent domain or condemnation, buzz words made famous by Suzette Kelo‘s little pink house in Connecticut.  In addition, there are scores of redevelopment areas around the country which remain undeveloped, in some cases due to economic forces and for other reasons as well.

For more information on stalled redevelopment projects, watch this interview featuring McKirdy & Riskin’s Anthony Della Pelle.

Olympia, Washington will be an interesting one to follow.  We’ll keep an eye on it.