I’d like to thank Doug at dougpetch.com and John Ruberry at Marathon Pundit for linking to my first photo essay on eminent domain abuse regarding Sportif Importer Ltd of Chicago.
The latter lead me to this Free Republic article about Sportif, which has this gem of a quote from the developer:
[Sportif owner] Don Zordani acknowledges that he would sell for the right price. Everybody, he says, has a number.
The developer who wants to put up the condo, Demetrius Kozonis says Zordani’s number is way out of whack—several million dollars too high—that they’ve offered to keep the bike shop in the neighborhood, but that Zordani is stubborn and unreasonable.
What a bizarre argument.
Buying an entire bike shop is way out of my price range, but I might want to buy one of his bikes. However, if when we start negotiating the price I can’t get him to come down as much as I’d like, should I have the option of just dropping my money on the counter and stealing the bike?
Of course not. But that doesn’t mean I’m powerless against Zordani’s greed. The free market gives me one strong move to combat greedy merchants: The power to walk away. I can spend my money someplace else.
The developer who wants to buy the entire store can do the exact same thing. There’s $480,000 on the table, and Zordani won’t get a dime of it if the developer buys his land someplace else. That’s a pretty strong incentive for him to be reasonable.
And maybe he already is.