Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon Attorney Wins Increased Condemnation Award for NYC Church, Gaining $51 Million for Client

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NYC eminent domain attorney M. Robert Goldstein wins affirmation in appellate court against the MTA, upholding one of the largest condemnation awards in New York history

Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, P.C. NY eminent domain lawyers

Eminent Domain Attorney M. Robert Goldstein Wins Appeal

I was disturbed that the position taken by the MTA was that the church had not acted in good faith,” said Goldstein: “I’m glad the Appellate Division recognized what the facts are.

M. Robert Goldstein, a partner at Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, P.C., won a unanimous decision from New York’s Appellate Division, First Department affirming one of the largest condemnation awards in New York State’s history of $106,510,521. The court affirmed an award after trial (2011 NY Slip Op 05986) that held that the State Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) underpaid the Collegiate Church, also known as the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the City of New York, by $32 million dollars which, with interest, now amounts to about $51 million.

The lawsuit centered on five properties that the MTA acquired in 2006 through eminent domain. The properties were located on Broadway in downtown Manhattan between Fulton and John Streets and were taken for a new transit center located a block away from the World Trade Center.

According to court documents (Supreme Court, New York County, # 4045 401185/08 401188/08 401192/08), the MTA initially paid $74 million for Collegiate’s property, not including $20 million for another property which was settled. During the trial, the condemnor had argued that each property should be valued separately. In contrast, Collegiate and its joint venture partner, Brookfield Properties, as well as another owner of an adjoining property, maintained in the appeal that the highest and best use for their properties was a residential condominium building to be constructed on its assemblage.

The Appellate Court agreed with Collegiate . It found that the parcels were for all intents and purposes under common ownership and control and that there was a reasonable probability that Collegiate and the other owners would have assembled these properties. The court also affirmed the imposition of 9% interest. The additional recovery to the church will exceed $45 million with interest.

M. Robert Goldstein, who represented Collegiate at the trial and appeal said: “I was disturbed that the position taken by the MTA was that the church had not acted in good faith. I’m glad the Appellate Division recognized what the facts are.”

About M. Robert Goldstein

M. Robert Goldstein has focused exclusively on the field of condemnation law since he began practicing law in 1949. A long-standing leader in the New York community, he has held numerous prominent offices in a variety of legal and community organizations. He is rated as Best Lawyer for eminent domain and condemnation cases.

About Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, P.C.

Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, P.C. limits its practice to NY eminent domain and condemnation law. Eminent domain refers to the sovereign’s power to take private property for a public use, provided that just compensation is paid. The firm offers its eminent domain clients the opportunity to retain counsel highly experienced in obtaining just compensation.

Samuel Goldstein and Nathan L. Goldstein created a law firm in 1923 that established a strong tradition of aggressively protecting the constitutional rights of people whose property was forcibly acquired by condemnation or eminent domain. The firm evolved into Samuel Goldstein & Sons after three Goldstein sons joined the firm.

Practicing condemnation and eminent domain law since 1969, Michael Rikon merged his firm in 1994 with the Goldstein firm to form Goldstein, Goldstein & Rikon, P.C. Earlier this year, Joshua H. Rikon, Jonathan M. Houghton, and Philip A. Sanchez became partners in the newly named firm of Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, P.C.

Contact Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, P.C. at 212.422.4000 extension 23 or visit the firm’s website at


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