Shameful: Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking

November 9th, 2009

The Washington Examiner reports, Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking (H/T Professor K. on FB)

The private homes that New London, Conn., took away from Suzette Kelo and her neighbors have been torn down. Their former site is a wasteland of fields of weeds, a monument to the power of eminent domain.

But now Pfizer, the drug company whose neighboring research facility had been the original cause of the homes’ seizure, has just announced that it is closing up shop in New London.

To lure those jobs to New London a decade ago, the local government promised to demolish the older residential neighborhood adjacent to the land Pfizer was buying for next-to-nothing. Suzette Kelo fought the taking to the Supreme Court, and lost. Five justices found this redevelopment met the constitutional hurdle of “public use.”

Pfizer Inc. will shut down its massive New London research and development headquarters and transfer most of the 1,400 people working there to Groton, the pharmaceutical giant said Monday….

Pfizer is now deciding what to do with its giant New London offices, and will consider selling it, leasing it and other options, a company spokeswoman said.

This tragedy of property rights reveals the pitfalls of eminent domain takings for private development. Suzette Kelo’s home was taken by eminent domain. Years later, Pfizer abandoned the property, but Kelo’s little pink house was no longer (thought it was moved across town).

ScottĀ Bullock, put it succinctly “This shows the folly of these redevelopment projects that use massive taxpayer subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare and abuse eminent domain.”

For shame.

Update: Thanks for the Hat Tip Professor Somin.