Time to mess with the process ...
Of course, the circumstances are different and Western Seafood Co. and Trico Seafood Co. still have avenues to follow in their attempts to stop the taking of their property based on purely economic reasons. One avenue noted in the article was a city wide referendum provision:
He [Western Seafood spokesman Wright Gore III] said there is a provision in state law that allows residents of a city to a circulate a petition to call a vote on whether the city can take property using eminent domain.Might I suggest the these seafood companies entertain a fallback position, should all other standard avenues fail for preventing government redistribution of private property. Offer the city a better deal than the one they have by the developer of record. I am sure this development proposal is chock full of provisions, arrangements, and design conditions that someone with a sharp pencil could make into a very workable and still profitable, better deal.
So get on the stick, Western and Trico. Find the soft spots and largesse. Ready a deal to submit to the mayor that is more economically beneficial for the Freeport. If it is turned down, fight that on the basis that the city's true intentions are not economic benefit. I'll hazard to say that if the City even stops for a second to consider the deal, developers would start to swarm and there could be a bidding war.
Not that I like the idea of this. It goes against my basic philosopical outlook that use of 'eminent domain', and I use that term lightly now, in this manner is just plain wrong and should be fought tooth and nail. So maybe it would be better if those in Freeport, who are against this kind of eminent domain use and have the werewithal, start submitting to the mayor very reasonable proposals for redevelopment for purely economic benefit throughout the city. If the boundaries of some encompass the mayor's house, all the better. If some of these proposals could be submitted in advance of the referendum, that would be icing on the cake.
I'd be inclined to invest in a for profit corporation investigation the full and complete redevelopment of Freeport, Texas. I'll even visit, though I wouldn't want to live there.