The former owners of a Hicksville parking lot seized by the city of Oyster Bay via eminent domain are seeking $950,000 in damages, according to a court filing last week.
The city condemned the property, 47 West Barclay St., which it had leased from landlords for years to use as a parking lot, to ensure it remained a parking lot serving the Long Island Rail Road station, according to the city officials. and court records. State Supreme Court Judge Vito DeStefano granted the city’s sentencing request on June 6 and gave the owners 120 days to submit a claim for damages after notice.
The owners’ attorney, Elisabetta Coschignano of Uniondale-based Sahn Ward Braff Koblenz PLLC, filed a notice of claim Aug. 9 seeking $950,000 plus interest. Coschignano did not respond to requests for comment.
The owners – George Thomas, Barbara Grillo as trustee of the Rose McGeever Trust, Florence Gries, Michael Caruso and Alexander Caruso – did not object to the sentencing when the city began foreclosure proceedings in April.
Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Nevin wrote in an email Thursday that the former owners had been offered $800,000 and city officials disagreed that the value of the property was $950,000.
City Council last week approved payment of an $8,187 property tax bill, the amount due for the second half of 2022. Oyster Bay is seeking state legislation that would retroactively exempt the property from taxes and result in reimbursement from Nassau County.
Oyster Bay initiated the sentencing with a hearing on August 17, 2021 after city officials and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority failed to reach an agreement on the construction of a parking lot on the same street that was to be a key part of a larger plan to revitalize Hicksville. The original plan called for three parking lots, including one funded by the MTA, which would have freed up land used as surface parking lots to be developed for public and private use.