Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Stamford!

As the Occupy Wall Street movement grows to Los Angeles, Fresno, Houston, Dallas, Baltimore, Boston, and more, and even goes global, it was only a matter of time before it took hold in Connecticut, specifically in the insurance capitol of the world.  That's right, it's Occupy Hartford!  In solidarity with our fellow Nutmeggers, I propose an offshoot movement: Occupy Stamford!

What's the mission of Occupy Stamford?  Is it to bring accountability and decency to the finance industry?  Eh, too much work.  To demand a faster rollout of our new M-8 train cars?  Not really.  To teach people in Stamford how to use their turn signals?  No, but that would be nice.  The mission of Occupy Stamford is to shame Milstein Properties into selling our city's worst eyesore, The Hole!!  These absentee owners have let that huge lot sit for 14 years without making even a half-hearted attempt to develop or sell it (in their defense, they're just continuing the tradition of neglect passed down from all the previous landowners).  Every time someone offers them their asking price, they raise the price.  Nice!

Fortunately, our friends over at 888 Washington Boulevard may have found a way to finally end this nightmare.  According to this Angela Carella column from June, "They found a way in the 1968 contract between the URC and the previous owner, a subsidiary of Stamford developer F.D. Rich.  The contract provision says the URC has the right to buy the parcel from a mortgage holder who does not develop it by paying the mortgage debt.  The URC is working on calculating a price using a formula in the contract. It would be substantially less than what the Milsteins could get on the open market, Goldberg said."

I'm not a fan of governments seizing private property except for public purposes like roads or railroads, and the whole Pfizer debacle in New London brought my blood to a boil, but this is different.  It's a clear case of  purposeful and never-ending neglect.  As much as I'm also not a fan of the urban renewal projects of the 1960s, this was clearly not the intention of Stamford's attempt at renewal.  The purpose was for developers to buy the land and then, oh, I don't know, DEVELOP IT - not sit on it for decades.

I hope that the URC goes through with this plan.  Heck, they could probably put out a call asking for citizens to contribute whatever they can to pay the mortgage debt on The Hole.  It would be a great rallying cry and could really bring the city together for a common cause.

Until then, Occupy Stamford will continue to complain loudly about The Hole!  What, did you really think I was going to suggest camping out in a public park?  Have you ever camped out in the Northeast in the fall or winter??  It's cold outside!

8 comments:

hopeglory said...

I've been hitting the streets of downtown Stamford for a couple of weeks with my "Occupy CT" sign. Been getting positive responses. Yet to build a movement with more than myself, but accepting offers to join me in downtown. The movement is growing!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not on board with any of the occupy protests or eminent domain run amuck, but I agree with you this time that if the URC really has such a provision in its deal with the millsteins over "the hole" site, then I do believe it would be right of them to act. Enough is enough with the hole.

StamfordNotes said...

Great idea! Can it also be a little bit about the &$/:@?! Trains??

Streets of Stamford said...

Stamford Notes: Absolutely!

We should jam the trains and leave no empty seats! Oh wait...

We should cause trains to be delayed for no apparent reason! Oh wait...

We should increase the fares while cutting service so people will get mad! Oh wait...

Stamford Pizza said...

Civil unrest has been a catalyst for change in our country beyond it's present design, but it must be for a worthy cause. There is much that needs to change in Stamford and beyond. I hope you use your energy for a proper cause

Sebastien L. said...

A classmate and and I recently created an Occupy Stamford Facebook page--www.facebook.com/OccupyStamford

We are full-time students at Norwalk Community College.

Let's protest together next Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Perhaps we can all meet at Veterans Park?

Anonymous said...

I'm a student at the Uconn Stamford Campus. looking to get involved. email me at urujj@live.com

Catherine E said...

I think getting rid of The Hole is a great project for Stamford. Thanks for your post.