Public Benefits and the Public Trust Doctrine in 'Avella V. City of New York'

6 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2017

Date Written: July 18, 2017


The recent Court of Appeals decision in Avella v. City of New York prevents a major economic development project in northern Queens from moving ahead. Known as the "Valley of Ashes" in The Great Gatsby, the site of the project includes a polluted brownfield where small auto repair shops have repaired vehicles for decades. Those same business owners—primarily immigrant entrepreneurs—have thrived without passable streets, sewers, sidewalks, and other infrastructure. For decades government has tried unsuccessfully to redevelop Willets Point.

Keywords: public trust doctrine, community benefits agreements, Willets Point, Queens, economic development

JEL Classification: K11, R52

Suggested Citation

De Barbieri, Edward, Public Benefits and the Public Trust Doctrine in 'Avella V. City of New York' (July 18, 2017). Available at SSRN:

Edward De Barbieri (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States
518-445-3234 (Phone)


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