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DelMundo for News The city says it's time for progress at Willets' Point.Related Stories   Story of battle over basketball arena opens Brooklyn Film Fest   Atlantic Yards ground-breaking event marked by politicians, pop star and protests   Bar won't be Atlantic Yds. sacrifice   Legal snag to delay Nets arena project The city?wants to create jobs in a forlorn section of Queens by shutting down the businesses that have been there for decades.Sound weird? How’s this: The chief lobbyist against using eminent domain on those businesses in Queens also works for  Studio Beats White a developer using eminent domain on homes in Brooklyn.Lobbyist Richard Lipsky, who has been a thorn   in the side of mayors and governors and their megaprojects for decades, is leading the charge against Mayor Bloomberg's dream of redeveloping Willets Point in Queens.The so-called Iron Triangle is a  Beats Dre White dilapidated maze of body shops and junk piles, a muddy morass in the shadow of Citi Field.It's the kind of place where the city never paved the roads or fixed the sewers ― then called the area blighted.City officials want to use eminent domain to clear out the small businesses there and replace them with a huge complex of stores, hotels and homes.Into the fight stepped Lipsky, who has long represented small business groups against big  Best Beats By Dre Earbuds business plans. He is a tenacious lobbyist and a loquacious blogger, lately trying to stop Columbia University from   expanding into West Harlem and stop Walmart from opening in Brooklyn.A group of business owners called Willets Point United has paid Lipsky $5,000 a month to block the city's eminent domain plans.At the same time, though, developer Bruce Ratner's companies are paying Lipsky $3,500 a month for "information and advice" on Atlantic Yards, the controversial project to bring apartments and the Nets basketball team to Brooklyn.The first phase of Atlantic Yards alone required the state to condemn 15 privately owned properties.Eminent domain allows government to seize a private owner's property to serve the greater public good ― if you consider a basketball stadium or a shopping center to be a public good.Lipsky said he's usually against it, but the Nets arena and its benefits for neighborhood kids make it worthwhile in Brooklyn."I don't have an absolute position on [eminent domain] but I do have a strong disposition against it," Lipsky said. "It takes a lot to push me in that direction."He also said he only worked on Atlantic Yards' youth sports efforts programs, not its eminent domain work efforts.Of course, Ratner could have hired him to work for Atlantic Yards just so the opponents couldn’t hire him to work against it."That's true," Lipsky acknowledged. "You'd have to ask them why they hired me."An Atlantic Yards spokesman said Lipsky was hired strictly for youth sports programs.The experience hasn’t dimmed Lipsky’s fire against the Willets Point project, where a public hearing on eminent domain last week brought promises of lawsuits by the business owners there.The city says it's time for progress at Willets Point.City developers quietly acknowledge it will be years before anything new gets built there,  Beats By Dr Dre Studios Cheap but they're glad the Bloomberg administration is making the long-term push.And in a final irony, many of those developers back the Committee to Save New York, the group pushing Gov. Cuomo’s agenda in Albany ― which has hired Lipsky to organize small businesses on Cuomo's behalf.Building something big and new in a crowded city is always a tangled business, no matter whose side you're on.
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