Court denies owner’s motion to increase appraisal

First appraisal allegedly based on flawed calculation under City’s Zoning Resolution. Malba Cove Properties, Inc. had owned a 655,188- square-foot undeveloped parcel in College Point, Queens that the City acquired by eminent domain in 1996 as part of the City’s plan to develop a waterfront park.

With the trial on the property value set to start in mid-July 2006, Malba asked the court in late May for permission to file a revised appraisal that would increase the value from $10 million to $11.9 based on a new calculation of how much floor space could be developed on the parcel. Malba claimed that its land use expert had incorrectly determined the size of homes that could be built on the site by measuring from the base flood plane rather than the curb level, which was three feet lower. Malba argued that the new calculation should be accepted, because it represented a mathematical correction rather than a new theory, which would be prohibited at the late stage of the case. Malba also raised constitutional issues, claiming that its right to just compensation required the court to accept the new numbers.

Justice Abraham G. Gerges denied Malba’s argument, finding the Zoning Resolution measurement to be a basic premise of the appraisal’s calculation and its change would thus be a new theory. The court rejected Malba’s constitutional claim, noting that the decision would not deny Malba’s right to present valuation information.

In re City of New York (Powell’s Cove Environmental Waterfront Park), 2006 Slip Op 51268(U), June 30, 2006 (Queens Cty.Sup.Ct.) (Gerges, J.) (M. Robert Goldstein, for Malba; Fred Kolikoff, for City).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.