By William Tauro
The Somerville Bowling Alley in Ball Square on Broadway that has been highlighted in the news recently for being taken by eminent domain is back in the news again.
The owner of a family bowling alley in Ball Square in Somerville is fighting the MBTA’s eminent domain taking and the court’s decision to vacate the property that was taken by eminent domain this past year.
An appeal hearing in Middlesex Superiour Court is set and summonses are being sent out ordering the depositions of Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone and Developer Peter Miller as two of many that are expected to be deposed by plaintiff’s legal team.
In a separate lawsuit at the Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn, cases of other owners who’s properties were believed to have been allegedly taken illegally by Mayor Joseph Curtatone and the city of Somerville by unfair practices and deceitful acts via abuse of powers of a similar development on Mystic Avenue are moving forward as well.
The City of Somerville and Mayor Joseph Curtatone are also believed to be named in that civil action law suit as well for unfair and deceitful practices through filing complaints by the plaintiffs.
Eminent domain in the United States refers to the power of a state or the federal government to take private property for public use while requiring “just” compensation to be given to the original owner.
In these cases eminent domain was alleged to be used in an unfair and improper manner to give residents properties previously taken then were privately sold to developers instead for their own personal gain all the while avoiding mandatory municipal bidding processes.
We have interviewed other property owners in the city that have also expressed that they have fallen victim to a similar alleged scheme of illegal deceitful and unfair practices via abuse of power land takings by the mayor and city of Somerville.
These property owners have already also hired attorneys and have begun legal proceedings actions against Mayor Curtatone and the city of Somerville.
We will keep you informed as this story is still developing and other property owners file new lawsuits against the city of Somerville.
Read the original article on the bowling alley eminent domain taking below:
STALLED DEVELOPMENTS/ SOMERVILLE’S CASH COW PART III / THE PLOT SCHEME THICKENS
By William Tauro
This story is about a very good friend of mine who once recently owned a property in Ball Square in Somerville.
The property was in stalled development mode for many years until the property’s owner, a life long Somerville resident who ran a legitimate family entertainment business, a bowling alley for many years.
He couldn’t hold onto the property any longer and he was at the end of his rope because of an eminent domain situation that forced him to lose the property to the MBTA.
One of the strange occurrences that took place is that we heard that allegedly the mayor got involved, rearrange the deal with the MBTA and with is influential position had the MBTA take the property by emminent domain.
The purchase price that the MBTA gave the property owner for the forced imminent domain taking of his property was far less than 1/8 of what the property value was actually worth.
The property owner even tried to meet with the MBTA and instead of selling the property to them he asked the MBTA to relocate his business to another location.
Allegedly once the mayor got wind of the property owner’s meeting and intentions with the MBTA, the mayor called the property owner to his office and got very upset with this person and told him that relocating him anywhere in Somerville is not an option.
The properties that were involved in this particular scheme to deprive the property
owner of his actual property value and a big violation of his property rights that took place were regarding 662-664 Boston Avenue Medford and the other side of the same property which is connected to 1 Ball Square in Somerville.
Now, all of a sudden the real strange occurrences in this ordeal is alleged that this well connected developer who was also supposedly a lifelong friend of the mayor has strangely and conveniently had ended up with the same property and who is now is supposedly getting the property permitted for 150 units making the deal worth over $80,000,000 (eighty-million dollars).
$80,000,000 is a big jump from the $750,000 that the original owner received for the property not so long ago before it was arranged for the eminent domain property taking.
Now is it just a coincidental occurrence that these characters are all the same players who are allegedly connected to the mayor and who are also all the same key players in this deal and many more across the city just like it?
Eminent Domain is “The power to take private property for public use by a state, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property.” Please note it wasn’t meant for private use by a private developer.
In many cases around somerville, many have always always found it strange that the mayor would want to meet with all the developers before they propose anything.
The similarities, the motivations and footprints appear to be the same in many circumstances.
By meeting with the developers, the mayor could squeeze the developer and get political financial support from the them then after a while he could discourage their development. Then after a while the developer would get discouraged and then move on. The mayor can then get control of what goes there and could easily direct the property owners to one of his own developers.
After reading and investigating other similar stories, there are just so many very similar situations to each one and it’s not just a coincidence as you can see.
How can that be and how can he obtain their property from the MBTA which they took from my friend how could the developer obtain it from the MBTA without the proper bidding process?
Through investigations, we have also discovered that this well-connected developer could allegedly also have a very good friend at the MBTA who could have possibly and conveniently bypassed the bidding process for him and maybe that’s how they could of gotten this done?
The victim in this alleged scheme, the property owner, only received only $750,000 from the MBTA a fraction of a percentage of what it was worth. $750,000 is not an awful lot of money especially after over 50 years of owning the property and running a family orientated business.
And now, not to soon later, the MBTA’s allegedly plans to turnover the said property to the mayor’s alleged friend, the developer who is now planning on building a $80,000,000 one-hundred-fifty unit development project on that same property site.
Now even more of a coincidence, these well-connected developers are allegedly now calling the former property owner, the victim, to vacate the property so that they can let their project move forward.
To my understanding isn’t it a conflict of interest, unethical and absolutely criminal if an elected official is actually doing something like this? Couldn’t this be considered organized crime?
Is the mayor involved? Is he abusing his political powers to orchestrate these back door dealings? We hope not.
We will continue to monitor this situation and as this story unfolds, we will bring you up to speed on its outcome.