UTICA, N.Y. -- The city of Utica on Thursday came one step closer to using eminent domain to forcefully take a property owner's share of the former Northland Building, on Court Street, in Utica.
"The Urban Renewal Agency met today, reviewed a statement of findings and authorized or approved a resolution issuing the statement of findings, which is really the next step in terms of the eminent domain procedure," said commissioner of Urban and Economic Development, Brian Thomas.
The target of the eminent domain proceedings is the young developer, in his 20s, who owns 20% of the building.
"The city wants to have the property redeveloped. We want to redevelop the property. They just don't want us to redevelop the property, I guess," said Developer, Vincent Bailey. "The city has stated that they can't sell it to us, but they want us to sell it to them."
Commissioner Thomas says it's not too late to avoid eminent domain.
"It is still possible to negotiate a settlement between the agency and the current owner," he said.
The developer says he'll leave it in the hands of a judge.
"We're not looking to settle. We don't have interest. I think a judge will determine that our property is quite valuable."
Commissioner Thomas says eminent domain in the courts is still a few months away.
Bailey wasn't aware of, or present at, Thursday's meeting of the city's Urban Renewal Agency.