Sanchez & Polovetsky Goes to Nashville for the Latest Discussions on Eminent Domain and Land Value Litigation
Staying ahead of eminent domain law is critical to clients having the success that they have come to expect with Sanchez & Polovetsky. In part, that is why both Jennifer Polovetsky and Philip A. Sanchez have been named Super Lawyers for five consecutive years.
One of the ways the dynamic duo stays ahead is by attending conferences and networking with legal experts from around the country. This week, the team visited Nashville, Tennessee to attend the American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education (ALI-CLE) “Eminent Domain and Land Value Litigation 2020” conference. The national conference examines the latest legal issues related to relocation, regulatory takings, inverse condemnation, and valuation issues.
Always wanted to know what types of topics are being discussed at a legal conference in Nashville? A few may even have laymen wanting to find out more! Interestingly, many of these topics are stories that appear in the news on a regular basis and that we blog about. They relate to Property Rights as Civil Rights, Passive Takings by Government Inaction, Creative Approaches to Solving Difficult Appraisal Problems, Establishing the Date of Valuation in Direct and Inverse Cases.
One of the more enjoyable aspects of this type of meeting is mingling with the faculty and other registrants, and sometimes even engaging in one or two healthy debates! Of course, the team is also interested in absorbing some of the local Nashville culture and soaking in the city’s history, music and delicious food.
Stay tuned as what we learn this week might pop-up in next week’s blog post!
Last week we blogged about the Penn Station expansion plans by Governor Cuomo and the possibility of eminent domain proceedings taking place to make it happen. Our very own Philip A. Sanchez was interviewed on Fox5 News as saying, “This is entirely possible -- and the governor is completely within his right to do that.” And that “(…Eminent domain is) The one power that the government has that people don’t realize how awesome it really is.”
One of the first publicly reported challenges to Governor Cuomo’s plan is the reported comment, in Crain’s and The Real Deal, that the landlord of Penn Station has “no intention of selling.” As we are well aware, the Governor has eminent domain “in his back pocket” and is well within his rights to use it.
The property owner of the 17-story office building at 259 West 30th Street, Michael Orbach, is reportedly angry about the Governor’s proposal. “We are long-term property owners with no intention of selling.”
While this may seem like a new initiative for the Governor, the truth is that it is not. There have been talks over the years about an expansion, but the early-January 2020 announcement took some property owners by surprise. The announcement included the possible usage of eminent domain.
“We were never notified in writing of the state’s intentions prior to the announcement, so we really do not know what the scope of this project is,” Orbach said. “While we appreciate the need to expand Penn Station and appreciate the governor’s intentions here, we have seen the state’s use of the eminent domain process in the past at the New York Times Building on Eighth Avenue and it was not handled in a fair way for the small property owners involved.”
According to The Real Deal, 51 properties bordered by Seventh and Eighth avenues and West 30th and West 31st streets revealed that Cuomo’s office had not contacted them as of yet. Of course, the governor’s office said it wants to acquire private property through friendly negotiations. Condemnation is often expensive and a lengthy process.
As always, we remind our readers that eminent domain is not the end, but can be a new beginning for many property and business owners. Affected condemnees have the right to sue the government for additional compensation, over and above what the government initially pays in eminent domain. Our firm has successfully represented many condemnees in similar situations and obtained favorable results. Of course past accomplishments cannot guarantee future outcomes, but it is important to choose the right lawyer to represent you when facing eminent domain.
We will continue to follow this story and keep you posted!
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.