Susette Kelo and her neighbors’ land was taken in New London, Connecticut as part of a redevelopment plan to allow Pfizer to expand their offices. But Pfizer has now announced that not only are they not expanding their offices, they are closing up shop in New London. The Hartford Courant reports:
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.
The move comes in the wake of Pfizer’s recent merger with Wyeth, and is part of a global consolidation of the two companies’ research operations. Groton will be the biggest of the company’s five major global research sites, the company said. The move from New London to Groton will take place over the next two years.
Not only is Susette Kelo and her neighbors’ land vacant today, Pfizer is leaving. Nice work New London. A couple months ago my wife and I stopped by New London and took some pictures. Here’s what the view from Susette Kelo’s house looks like today:
In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled on the controversial property rights case–Kelo v. New London. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that cities could exercise eminent domain for purely economic development purposes, even if they took the land from one private property owner and transferred it to another. According to the Court, this was an acceptable “public use” under the Fifth Amendment.
But governments do not necessarily make good decisions about economic development and the Kelo situation is a good example. It’s four years after the Supreme Court’s decision and the land the land that the City of New London took from Susette Kelo and her neighbors for “economic development” is still vacant. None of the 3,169 new jobs and $1.2 million a year in tax revenues have materialized.
Earlier in the month, my wife and I were near New London, so we stopped by to see what the land looks like today. Below are picture I took of the site:
View to the south from where Susette Kelo’s house once stood:
View to the west from where Susette Kelo’s house once stood:
Trees on the Susette Kelo’s block:
View to the north on East street:
One block North from Susette Kelo’s, more condemned land:
View to the north, same location:
Bing maps has a nice aerial perspective of this location, especially when you use the Bird’s Eye feature.
This is a sad case of hubris. People homes were taken and replaced with empty lots?