Previous Experience

Counsel to Landlord in sale of 14 Bronx buildings for $122 million to a New York City affiliated HDFC in lieu of eminent domain. 
The final sale price was a substantial increase over the City’s initial offer, and was the result of two (2) years of intense negotiations with the City. The buildings contained close to 800 units and were used as homeless cluster sites pre-closing. Under the Turning the Tide on Homelessness Program announced by the DeBlasio administration, the cluster shelter sites were converted to permanent affordable housing. See NYC Buys 14 Cluster Site Homeless Shelters for $122M (therealdeal.com).

Counsel to Landlord in sale of 14 buildings located in Manhattan and the Bronx for $74 million to a New York City affiliated HDFC in lieu of condemnation/eminent domain.
The final sale price was a substantial increase over the City’s initial offer, and was the result of a year plus of intense negotiations with the City. The buildings contained approximately 225 units that were used as homeless cluster sites pre-closing, and were converted to permanent affordable housing under the Turning the Tide on Homelessness Program announced by the DeBlasio administration in 2017.  See NYC to pay $74 million for homeless apartments - New York Daily News (nydailynews.com).

Counsel to Karp Associates, Inc., a large Queens manufacturer whose property was seized by eminent domain to make way for the new Kosciusko Bridge.
Secured a $35 million eminent domain settlement award, and the largest trade fixture award in New York State history (obtained 100% of the appraised value for the client's trade fixtures, including machinery, equipment, business related improvements, etc.). See Karp Associates, Inc. v. The State Of New York, and The New York State Department Of Transportation, IN THE MATTER OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK (Kosciuszko Bridge Replacement) Court of Claims Claim #121590. See also Karp asks for second round of IDA help to expand in Melville | Newsday.

Counsel to multi-generational property owners of 270 Nevins Street in Brooklyn (in the Gowanus Rezone area). 
Successfully obtained a final eminent domain settlement award that was approximately $6 million over the City of New York’s initial offer. The City acquired the property for use as a staging area for the construction and installation of a sewer overflow facility that would reduce the discharge into the Gowanus Canal. The valuation of this claim was extremely complex, as it involved a temporary acquisition for a term of eight (8) years, with a permanent acquisition of the building that improved the property (the building was demolished as part of the taking). See In the Matter of the Application of THE CITY OF NEW YORK, Petitioner, To Acquire by Exercise of its Powers of Eminent Domain Title to an Estate for a Term of Eight Years in Certain Real Property Known as Tax Block 425, Lot 1, Located in the Borough of Brooklyn, Required for the COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOW CONTROL FACILITY – GOWANUS CANAL SUPERFUND REMEDIATION; PHASE II (NYS Supreme Court, Kings County) (Index No. 511264/2018).

Counsel to the property owner of 666 Pacific Street in Brooklyn, and the trade fixture claimant (Atlantic Wool Company Inc.), a fabric dealer whose property was taken in the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Barclays Center eminent domain proceedings. 
Claimant was the son of a Holocaust survivor, and the seized property had been in his family for many years. The final eminent domain award obtained on behalf of the client was ten (10) times the amount of the initial offer made by Empire State Development, and constituted a 1000% increase. (See ROCKWELL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, LLC,(BLOCK 1128, LOT 4), Claimant,– against –NEW YORK STATE URBANDEVELOPMENT CORPORATION DBA EMPIRE STATE DEVELOPMENT, Index No. 17859/2014(Saitta, J.)(See ATLANTIC WOOL COMPANY, INC. (BLOCK 1128, LOT 4) v. NEW YORK STATE URBAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION d/b/a EMPIRE STATE DEVELOPMENT/INDEX NO. 6107/15 (Saitta, J.))  See also In Arena’s Shadow, Holdouts at Atlantic Yards Site Must Now Leave - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Counsel to New York’s oldest trucking company, whose Brooklyn property was seized by eminent domain in connection with the Kosciusko Bridge Replacement. 
The long and complex legal proceedings were settled on the eve of trial, close to 4 years after the taking. The State of New York Department of Transportation (the "DOT") acquired a portion of the client’s land, which housed a cross-dock trucking terminal located at 515 Gardner Ave in Brooklyn, NY, through its powers of eminent domain. The DOT's partial taking essentially divided the property in half, leaving the remainder of the property useless for the purposes of continuing the trucking business, since the trucks would no longer be able to maneuver in and out of the lot.  The DOT initially approved payment of an eminent domain award in the amount of $711,600 in December of 2011; and in 2015 we obtained a final award for the client in the amount of $3.5 million (exclusive of statutory interest), over five times the amount of the DOT’s initial payment. See McAley Associates Ltd. and James J Haley Trucking Corp vs. NYS Dept. of Transportation and the State of New York, NYS Court of Claims Claim No. 121753 (Sept. 20, 2012). See also Sanchez & Polovetsky Settles Eminent Domain Case In Kosciusko Bridge Proceeding | Benzinga.

Counsel to Mogul Media, Inc., owner of sign structure in Brooklyn at 536 Porter Avenue, whose property was seized by eminent domain in connection with the Kosciusko Bridge Replacement by the State of New York Dept. of Transportation (the "DOT").
The DOT initially paid the owner less than $100,000 for his structure. We obtained a final award of close to $3.9 million dollars for this structure, based on its valuation as a specialty trade fixture, a 5,200 % increase. See Mogul Media v. NYS Dept of Transportation and the State of New York, NYS Court of Claims Claim No. 1248789 (2014).

Counsel to East Side Auto, Inc., an auto repair shop in East Harlem, whose premises were seized by the City of New York through its powers of eminent domain for the East Harlem Urban Renewal Project, Stage 2. 
After months of intense negotiations and pre-trial court conferences, we obtained a favorable settlement that was approximately three (3) times the amount of the initial eminent domain award on behalf of our client, less than a year after filing an eminent domain claim for additional compensation in Court. See In the Matter of the Application of THE CITY OF NEW YORK, Petitioner, To Acquire by Exercise of its Powers of Eminent Domain, Fee Simple in Certain Real Property Known as Tax Block 1790, Lots 8, 20, 28 and 46, located in the Borough of Manhattan, needed for the FIFTEENTH AMENDED HARLEM-EAST HARLEM URBAN RENEWAL PLAN (EAST 125TH STREET), STAGE 2, Within an area generally bounded by East 126th Street on the north; 2nd Avenue on the east; East 125th Street on the south; and 3rd Avenue on the west, in the Borough of Manhattan, City and State of New York, under New York County Supreme Court Master Index No. 453233/2015 and Sub-Index No. 450082/2018 (Hagler, J.).

Counsel to Westbury Market Fair, Inc., which operated a Dollar Store in East Harlem that was acquired by the City of New York via eminent domain for the East Harlem Urban Renewal Project, Stage 2.
Obtained settlement award in an amount that was approximately quadruple the amount of the initial eminent domain award offered to the client—an almost 400% increase. See In the Matter of the Application of THE CITY OF NEW YORK, Petitioner, To Acquire by Exercise of its Powers of Eminent Domain, Fee Simple in Certain Real Property Known as Tax Block 1790, Lots 1, 5, 44 and 101, located in the Borough of Manhattan, needed for the FIFTEENTH AMENDED HARLEM-EAST HARLEM URBAN RENEWAL PLAN (EAST 125TH STREET), STAGE 1, Within an area generally bounded by East 126th Street on the north; 2nd Avenue on the east; East 125th Street on the south; and 3rd Avenue on the west, in the Borough of Manhattan, City and State of New York/WESTBURY MARKET FAIR, INC., (fixture claimant with respect to Damage Parcel 1 [Block 1790, Lot 1]), Claimant, against THE CITY OF NEW YORK, Condemnor, under New York County Supreme Court Master Index No. 450080/2018 (Hagler, J.))

Counsel to Ou Jiang City Supermarket, a grocery store in Flushing Queens, whose premises were acquired by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (the “MTA”) by eminent domain, for LIRR station improvements. 
Obtained an eminent domain settlement award that was 2.5x what the MTA initially offered, within one year of filing a claim for compensation in court. See In the Matter of the Application of the METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY relative to acquiring title in fee simple absolute to certain real property, required for the FLUSHING MAIN STREET IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT BLOCK 5037, LOT 57 (a/k/a 40-36 — 40-38 MAIN STREET) (FEE), as said property is shown on the current Tax Map of the Borough of Queens, City and State of New York. (Index No. 910/15)(Velasquez, J.)

Counsel to Sunny Lumber Supply NY, Inc., the former business tenant of 513 Porter Avenue, Brooklyn NY. 
The client was a lumber supply company whose premises were seized by eminent domain to make way for the Kosciuszko Bridge Replacement. The State of New York had initially refused to pay any compensation to Sunny Lumber, but after extensive litigation we obtained a sizable trade fixture award for this client. The final eminent domain award constituted a 1400% increase.(Sunny Lumber Supply NY, Inc. vs. State of New York, NYS Court of Claims Claim No. 122535 (2014)).

Counsel to a Queens building owner whose property was taken by the City of New York through its powers of eminent domain, in connection with the Archer Avenue Station extension and redevelopment project.
The client was able to avoid a long trial and received a settlement in an amount that was approximately 2.5 times the initial eminent domain award offered to the client (almost triple with interest). (In the Matter of Application of the City of New York, relative to acquiring title in fee simple absolute to certain real property where not heretofore acquired for the Archer Avenue Station Plaza, Stage 1 located along Archer Avenue within the area from 144th Place to 147th Place, in the Borough of Queens, City and State of New York, under Queens Supreme Court Index No. 19509/2013)

Counsel to a Bronx landlord who had leased his property to the New York City School Construction Authority (the “SCA”) for use as a school for many decades. 
Upon lease end, the SCA decided to acquire the property through its powers of eminent domain. After extensive negotiations with the City and the SCA, we obtained a final eminent domain award for this client in an amount that was approximately double the initial offer. (In the Matter of the Application of the NEW YORK CITY SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AUTHORITY, Petitioner, To Acquire By Exercise of its Powers of Eminent Domain Title in Fee Simple Absolute to Certain Real Property Known as Tax Block 3188, Lot 8, Located in the Borough of the Bronx, City of New York, in Connection With P.S. 33X Annex – Bronx, under Bronx Supreme Court Index Number 250112/15)

Counsel to Nakorn Realty, the owner of a Queens property located at 69-01 34th Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377 (the former White Castle headquarters). 
Within two months of purchasing this property with the intent to develop it, the New York City School Construction Authority (the “SCA”) notified the client of its intent to acquire the premises through its powers of eminent domain, for use as a school.  After extensive negotiations with the SCA, we were able to complete a sale in lieu of condemnation to the SCA within one year. The Client obtained a 260% increase upon conclusion of this sale, over and above what they had originally paid for the property just a year before.

Counsel to PSDR Realty Corp and Auto Sunroof of Larchmont, the Owner and Tenant of 54 Nardozzi Place, New Rochelle, NY.
The City of New Rochelle (“New Rochelle”) filed a Petition to acquire 54 Nardozzi Place by eminent domain, but never filed acquisition maps or proceeded with the vesting. After almost 2 years of Court appearances and litigation on the Client’s behalf, New Rochelle abandoned the proceeding. The Clients were able to keep their property, and we successfully filed an EDPL 702 proceeding, which resulted in New Rochelle, not the Client, paying our legal fees. See City of New Rochelle v. PSDR Realty Corp, And Auto Sunroof of Larchmont, Inc. (Index No.: 53714/2019)(Hon. Bruce E. Tolbert, J.)