A decade ago, when it began seizing property in the Fort Trumbull section of New London, Connecticut, the local redevelopment authority had grand plans. They were so impressive that the U.S. Supreme Court, in a highly controversial 2005 ruling, said they took precedence over the individual plans of the people who happened to own the neighborhood's homes and businesses. The Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London cleared the way for the neighborhood to be cleared away. But the "waterfront conference hotel at the center of a 'small urban village' that will include restaurants and shopping" never materialized. Neither did the "marinas for both recreational and commercial uses," the "pedestrian 'riverwalk,'" or the "80 new residences." The one major benefit the city could cite was the Pfizer R&D center that opened adjacent to Fort Trumbull in 2001, lured partly by the redevelopment plan. But today the pharmaceutical company announced that it will close the facility and transfer most of the 1,400 people who work there to Groton. As Scott Bullock of the Institute for Justice, one of the attorneys who represented Susette Kelo in her unsuccessful attempt to stop the bulldozing of Fort Trumbull, told the Washington Examiner's Timothy Carney, "This shows the folly of these redevelopment projects that use massive taxpayer subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare and abuse eminent domain."
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