Sunday, February 26, 2012
Owning condemned property is really no fun
From the Daily News:
A Queens businessman is suing the state for the money it still owes him after taking his Maspeth property through eminent domain eight months ago.
The state Transportation Department bought Sass Sheena’s 43rd St. lot and commercial building in June to demolish it and make way for the new Kosciuszko Bridge, which will replace the current aging structure.
But red tape has held up his $2.8 million payment — money he said he needs to pay off bills and invest in a new business.
Sheena bought the building and a school supply company operating there in 2001. He later sold the company and lived off rent payments from his commercial tenants.
“At this point, I have no income,” said Sheena, 49, who is married with four kids. “It’s just one big mess that I got into.”
Sheena filed a lawsuit last month claiming the state is required by law to expedite payment.
The state has instead put the funds into a special comptroller’s account, according to Sheena’s attorney, Michael Rikon. Property owners must petition the state Court of Claims for access to the account, a costly and lengthy process, Rikon said.