Newark mayor-elect battles old guard over land sales revenue

? Mayor-elect Cory Booker has won a legal battle in his war to help Newark redevelop itself by ending the practice of selling property at rock bottom prices.

Booker claims a handful of developers are benefiting from below market value sales. Property at 1100 Raymond Blvd. is valued at $56 million, but the city is selling it for $13 million. Booker also says vacant lots appraised at close to $30 per square foot are being sold for $4 per square foot. A superior court judge has blocked Newark City Council from selling any more land until June 15. The city must explain its actions at that time.

Mayor Sharpe James (D-Newark) released a statement saying he will appeal the interference with Newark?s right to govern itself during the transition period. James decided in March not to seek a sixth term. Booker officially takes office July 1.

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