The owner of a property that was condemned and seized by the city to make room for the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn is entitled to compensation of close to $9.2 million, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Wayne Saitta (See Profile) ruled earlier this month.
The amount is far less than the $21.8 million sought by the owner, 730 Equity Corp., but more than the $2.1 million claimed by the Empire State Development Corp., which funds the development.
The property, on Atlantic Avenue in Prospect Heights, was zoned for light industry and was vacant when it was condemned. It was previously occupied by a gas station. The owner argued that it likely would have been rezoned for commercial use to allow the construction of a 12-story budget hotel, increasing its value.
In a May 7 decision, issued after a jury trial, Saitta said that the owner had successfully supported the “extraordinary assumption” that the property would have been rezoned.
He noted that the immediate area, though zoned for industry, “no longer contains significant manufacturing uses” and is surrounded by residential neighborhoods.
Furthermore, the judge said, the “city’s policy under the Bloomberg administration was to rezone underutilized industrial sites to allow for commercial or residential development,” making it very likely that the land would have been rezoned.
The owner is represented by Goldstein Rikon & Rikon.
The Empire State Development Corp. is represented by Berger & Webb.
The case is 730 Equity Corp. v. New York State Urban Development Corp., 1689/12.