Inspiration for Kelo Case Leaves Town

Drugmaker Pfizer has announced plans to move offices and 1,400 employees out of New London, Connecticut, where it had ignited a heated debate over eminent domain that spawned the landmark Kelo v. New London Supreme Court case. Locals are not happy.
November 15, 2009, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"That sentiment has been echoing around New London since Monday, when Pfizer, the giant drug company, announced it would leave the city just eight years after its arrival led to a debate about urban redevelopment that rumbled through the United States Supreme Court, and reset the boundaries for governments to seize private land for commercial use.

Pfizer said it would pull 1,400 jobs out of New London within two years and move most of them a few miles away to a campus it owns in Groton, Conn., as a cost-cutting measure. It would leave behind the city's biggest office complex and an adjacent swath of barren land that was cleared of dozens of homes to make room for a hotel, stores and condominiums that were never built."

The city had tried to use eminent domain to buy up private land and build an "urban village" shopping center in an effort to lure Pfizer and its power of job creation to town. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that the city could use eminent domain for economic development that benefits the public, though much of the land obtained by the city still sits empty.

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Published on Friday, November 13, 2009 in The New York Times
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