This week we blogged about Governor Cuomo’s announcement about a possible expansion of Penn Station. The state would acquire a block south of Penn Station to increase track capacity which would affect properties between 30th and 31st Streets and Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Eminent domain is being considered as part of the expansion.
Fox5 New York interviewed Philip A. Sanchez as part of a recent report on this very topic. Regarding eminent domain as part of the Penn Station expansion, Sanchez commented, “This is entirely possible -- and the governor is completely within his right to do that.”
Sanchez described eminent domain as the government’s power to take private property for a valid public purpose. “This is most certainly a valid public purpose,” he said. As an example, Sanchez explained, “Where the New York Times Building on Eighth Avenue and 40th Street they took an entire block there as well.”
Sanchez reminds all tenants and commercial owners on the block that they can and should seek additional compensation for the sacrifice of their buildings, shops, and bars beyond what the state offers them. What is the estimated compensation? Sanchez estimates, “Hundreds of millions of dollars, easily, into the billions – no question about it.”
“(…Eminent domain is) The one power that the government has that people don’t realize how awesome it really is,” said Sanchez when talking about eminent domain and the impact it can have on all sizes of business.