A Midtown Manhattan law firm settled a case with the MTA on behalf of the Ou Jiang City Supermarket, which the transportation agency seized to make upgrades to the Flushing-Main Street LIRR station.
The agency used eminent domain to obtain the supermarket’s property at 40-36 Main St. on June 15, 2015 to construct elevators and staircases to the station platform, making the dilapidated stop handicap accessible.
As part of the settlement, filed in the Queens Supreme Court Jan. 4, the MTA is paying the supermarket owner $2,236,600, nearly 21/2 times the $974,592 condemnation award the agency initially offered. The amount covers $1,909,000 in cash and $327,600 in free rent as compensation.
“This case was quickly settled to the satisfaction of all parties involved,” Philip Sanchez, a partner at Sanchez & Polovetsky, said.
“An important improvement has been made to the Flushing-Main Street LIRR Station, making it possible for all commuters to travel safety, and we were able to secure a settlement for our client that gave them the opportunity to move their business or start a new business,” Sanchez continued.
The MTA would not discuss the specifics of the settlement but said the agreement appeases both sides.
“From the MTA’s standpoint, we believe it to be a good deal,” Salvatore Arena, a spokesman for the LIRR, said in a statement. “The settlement is for less than half the amount the supermarket was seeking. It also allows us to take possession of the site in a timely manner and move forward with construction of the new station.”
The $16.5 million project for the Flushing-Main Street station on Main Street and 41st Avenue will start this spring and einclude the installation of an elevator for each platform, new staircases, platform railings, better lighting and other safety measures.
The station has one entrance off Main Street for the eastbound side and another off 40th Road for the westbound side.
In the meantime, the MTA is working on a smaller project that will consist of replacing the handrails on the platform.
The agency is also planning to rehabilitate the LIRR’s bridge over Main Street, with plans to waterproof the bridge and paint it under the 2015-2019 capital program.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour
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