Matter of Brewster North Station & Commuter Parking Extension
Justice John LaCava
A trial of an Eminent Domain Procedure Law Article 5 proceeding challenged the valuation by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of real property taken in eminent domain from Longridge Associates. The subject property, which consists of some 52 acres of vacant land in Putnam County, was taken as part of Metro North Railroad's Brewster North Station and Commuter Parking Lot Expansion Project. The purpose of the acquisition was the planned expansion of commuter parking facilities, as well as construction of an intermodal transportation center, improved access to the station, and related projects. Based on expert testimony and other evidence at trial, the court concluded that Longridge met its burden of demonstrating that the highest and best use of the property was for the development of a retail center. The court further found the MTA failed to present any expert proof that a special permit for the planned development was unlikely to be issued. The court thus awarded Longridge the calculated cost of the lossthe amount of $4.375 million, with interest from the date of the taking, minus amounts previously paid.