New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GERAGOSIAN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-015-579, Claim No. 103487


Claimant awarded $180,856.00 in condemnation proceeding stemming from taking of property in conjunction with parking facility at Amtrak passenger station.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant’s attorney:
Joshua J. Effron, Esquire
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Donald E. Shehigian, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
June 27, 2003
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This is a timely filed claim for the entire taking of real property with no remainder by the State of New York (State) for highway purposes pursuant to section 30 of the Highway Law and the Eminent Domain Procedure Law in relation to parking facilities at the Amtrak Station in the City and County of Rensselaer. The claim was filed on December 7, 2000.

The premises, consisting of a 1.739 acre parcel of unimproved property, is bounded on the north by Partition Street, on the east by East Street, on the west by lands owned by the State and on the south by lands owned by the State (formerly Golub). The property was appropriated in a proceeding entitled "Rensselaer Amtrak Railroad Station Parking Lot Improvements, Map No. 4R-1, Parcel 4, Rensselaer County."

The parties mutually indicate August 27, 1999 as the date of the taking and the Court finds that claimants were the fee owners on the date of vesting and the State complied with all necessary procedures under the relevant statutes with regard to service. The Court has made the required viewing of the subject property. The aforesaid map and description were filed in the Office of the County Clerk of Rensselaer County on August 27, 1999. The claim was filed with the Clerk of the Court of Claims and the Attorney General December 7, 2000. The Court adopts the description of the appropriated property as shown on the map and description filed in the Rensselaer County Clerk's Office, a copy of which is attached to the claim and same is incorporated herein by reference.

Claimants are and were the owners of the property by reason of a deed dated December 31, 1967 recorded in the Rensselaer County Clerk's Office on January 31, 1968 in Liber 1193 at page 272. The subject property is identified by tax map number 143.52-4-1.1[1] on the assessment map of the City of Rensselaer comprised of an area of approximately 1.739 acres. The site consists of a slightly irregular L shaped parcel. The claim has not been assigned or submitted to any other tribunal for audit or determination.

A trial of the matter was held in Albany on March 13 and March 14, 2003.

Charles Geragosian was the first witness called by the claimants. Mr. Geragosian confirmed Exhibit 2 is the deed by which he and the co-claimant, his brother Michael J. Geragosian, received title to the subject property. Exhibit 2 was received in evidence without objection. The witness testified that the property was excavated subsequent to the date of taking in a manner which reduced the percentage of the property which was level to East Street from a pre-taking amount of approximately 50% of the total area occupied by the premises. As a result the property is not currently in the same condition as it was on August 27, 1999. The witness also confirmed that the claim had not been assigned or submitted to any other tribunal for audit or determination.

On cross-examination the witness described the topography of the site in August, 1999 as being generally even with the grade of East Street and then sloping to the west to a second level bounded on the west by railroad tracks. The witness estimated the difference in elevation between the level area adjacent to East Street and the western boundary of the property as "at least ten feet". He related that excavation conducted subsequent to the date of taking did not affect that portion of the property which connects to Partition Street.

On redirect examination the claimant confirmed that the area of the property fronting on East Street was generally level with the grade of the street with certain portions thereof slightly below grade.

The claimants next called their appraiser Leonard Berdan. Mr. Berdan was retained to appraise the property some time in the Fall of 2001. He related that prior to preparing the appraisal report received as Exhibit 4 he performed research regarding the property and surrounding neighborhood, applicable zoning requirements and comparable sales. Mr. Berdan related his opinion reflected on page five of the appraisal that the highest and best use of the subject property is for commercial development consistent with zoning. He related that the subject property was in August, 1999 located in a "LB" or local business zone which he described as favorable with generally liberal set back and other requirements. The property is also located several hundred yards north of the Rensselaer Amtrak station which the witness testified is the tenth busiest Amtrak station by passenger volume in the United States.

In conducting his appraisal the witness utilized the sales comparison approach to valuation and applied various adjustments to each individual comparable property. Mr. Berdan related that in conducting his analysis he compared the subject property to comparable sales on a dollar per acre basis which he considered most appropriate under the circumstances including the fact that the subject parcel was vacant land. Page 7 of Exhibit 4, claimants' appraisal report, contains a sales comparison grid providing relevant data and adjustments relative to the subject property and four comparable properties. The adjustments are explained on the following page of the report. Data concerning a fifth sale was provided on page 13 of the report but the property, vacant land located in a LB zone in the City of Rensselaer, seven to eight blocks from the subject parcel, was sold subsequent to the date of taking and was therefore not adjusted relative to the subject property.

The witness discussed various adjustments made to the four comparable sale properties and stated his opinion that as of August 27, 1999 the fair market value of the subject property was $160,000.00 per acre for a total value for the subject parcel of $280,000.00. He noted that the location of the property within a LB zone was in his opinion an asset and that only two such zones exist within the City of Rensselaer. The witness testified that he verified data concerning all comparable sales.

On cross-examination the witness agreed that as indicated on page three of the report the City of Rensselaer lost population during the last ten years from a total of 8,255 in 1990 to 7,761 in 2000. He described the property's location as "a valuable business location" given its proximity to the Amtrak station and the density of the residential neighborhood surrounding it. Berdan explained his comment on page three of the report that the neighborhood was experiencing increasing traffic by stating that his conclusion was based upon his own personal observations and newspaper accounts but that he did not take an independent traffic count. He was unable to relate the extent to which individuals utilizing the Amtrak train station patronized neighborhood businesses except upon his own experience in stopping at the Stewart's store located on the corner of Partition and East streets on his way to the station.

The report also states on page three that there have been efforts to locate a drugstore and hotel in the immediate neighborhood and cites speculation concerning river front development. The witness explained the statements concerning siting of a drugstore or hotel as based upon local press reports and rumors or speculation within the real estate community. He noted that although there have been several proposals for development of river front property in the City of Rensselaer none of those proposals have as yet been developed. When asked whether he was aware of any new development in the City of Rensselaer the witness stated that development had occurred primarily along Routes 9 and 20 which he described as a four lane highway connecting the City to a suburban location with traffic volume "quite a bit higher than East Street". He was not aware of any development which had occurred on East Street where the subject property is located other than the re-tenanting of a closed drug store by a Family Dollar store. Notwithstanding this actual lack of development within the subject neighborhood, the witness stated that there is little vacant land available within the City of Rensselaer and that a demand for commercial development land exists as evidenced by the acquisition and construction of commercial properties on Routes 9 and 20.

With regard to the issue of comparable sales, the witness testified that sale # 1 is located in a commercial area on Red Mill Road near its intersection with Route 4. He stated his opinion that the locations of sale # 1 and the subject property are comparable. Although he acknowledged that Route 4 is more heavily traveled than East Street he testified that Red Mill Road is less traveled.

Sale # 3 is located near the intersection of I-90 and Route 4 in the Town of East Greenbush. The witness testified that there is a hotel, a bank and restaurants near the property and that similar businesses are not present in the neighborhood surrounding the subject parcel. The sales comparison grid on page 7 of the appraisal report describes the topography of sale # 3 as "rolling/inclined". Berdan explained that a portion of sale # 3 was above grade and that the property required substantial excavation to accommodate the building ultimately placed on the site.

Sale # 4 is a property located in Troy, New York, approximately seven miles north of the subject property. The property was improved with three or four small retail stores and located in a mixed used area similar to the subject parcel.

With regard to sale # 5, the witness stated that the property was included in his appraisal as a matter of general consideration and that he did not make adjustments to the property vis-a-vis the subject parcel and did not consider sale # 5 in the sales comparison grid because the sale occurred subsequent to the date of taking of the subject parcel. He stated although he did not utilize sale # 5 as a true comparable sale he felt it necessary to address the property in his report because of its proximity to the subject parcel and its location within the City of Rensselaer.

On redirect examination the witness stated that the only way to enter or to exit the Amtrak station in August of 1999 was via East Street and that from his observations the Amtrak parking lot was generally full. The witness testified that he was familiar with the Capital View Project in the City of Rensselaer which he described as an ongoing redevelopment of an old mill into commercial/office space located near the subject property. He further stated that sale # 5 involved the sale of vacant land at a price of $277,000.00 per acre which the witness stated indicates a demand for commercial property in an inner-city location such as the subject East Street parcel. He noted that the sale price per acre was higher than similar commercial sales in suburban locations.

On recross examination the witness stated that most passengers came to the Rensselaer train station via East Street. He described the Capital View Project as a mixture of new buildings and refurbished mill buildings containing offices occupied by New York State agencies and departments. The witness was not aware of any private tenants at Capital View. Claimants rested at the conclusion of Mr. Berdan's testimony.

The defendant called its real estate appraiser W. Douglas Alvey. Mr. Alvey testified that he is familiar with property values in Rensselaer County, including the value of vacant land, and that prior to preparing his report he inspected the property and the neighborhood surrounding it. Although he utilized the comparable sales method of valuation he related that the valuation process was affected by the limited number of sales which occurred in the City of Rensselaer. The witness inspected the property several times and described the area surrounding Partition and East streets as containing primarily older single and multiple family residential properties ranging in value from $25,000.00 to $60,000.00 and various commercial enterprises such as a Stewart's Shop, taverns, a flower shop and a drug store which was closed at the time of taking.

Mr. Alvey testified that he first inspected the property in February, 1999. He described the parcel at that time as being irregular in shape and heavily treed. That portion of the property which fronted on East Street was generally on grade and sloped downward as it proceeded west while the Partition Street frontage declined at a somewhat more severe rate from street level. He stated his opinion that the topography of the site made development problematic and that in his opinion the fair market value of the property on August 27, 1999 was $125,000.00.

The witness testified that after considering the comparable sales data collected, the physical characteristics of the site, zoning and other factors he concluded that the highest and best use of the parcel was as a secondary commercial property serving primarily the local residents and persons utilizing the Amtrak train station. He stated his opinion that the area of East Street and Partition Street in the City of Rensselaer was a secondary commercial location as opposed to a primary location such as Routes 9 and 20.

The comparable sales used by the witness in reaching his conclusion as to the fair market value of the subject parcel are set forth on pages 25 through 28 of the appraisal report and the adjustments required are contained in a grid matrix set forth on page 29.

Sale # 1 is a slightly irregular parcel of 1.25 acres located on the north side of Routes 9 and 20 in the Town of East Greenbush. The witness described the adjustments made in the report and stated his opinion that sale # 1 was superior to the subject parcel in location, shape and topography. Sale # 1 was inferior in size relative to the subject.

Sale # 2 is a 1.73 acre parcel located on Routes 9 and 20 one quarter mile west of its intersection with Routes 4 and 20 in what the witness described as a densely developed commercial area containing numerous shopping centers, fast food restaurants and other commercial enterprises. In his opinion sale # 2 is superior to the subject parcel in shape, topography and location.

Sale # 3 is located on Routes 9 and 20 approximately 1 ½ miles east of its intersection with I-90 in the Town of Schodack. According to the witness this parcel was inferior to the subject parcel in size and location and superior in shape and topography.

Sale # 4 is located in a planned development district on Valley View Boulevard near Route 4 in the Town of North Greenbush. According to the witness the subject parcel was inferior to sale # 4 in location and inferior in shape and topography. All adjustments made to the individual comparable sales are set forth on page 29 of the appraisal report.

Finally, the witness testified that he reviewed an engineering report prepared by William Bamford and that he used the report only as a guide in preparing his appraisal. Mr. Bamford's report indicates that substantial amounts of fill would be required to create a building lot level with East Street and estimates costs attendant to the work.

Mr. Alvey related on cross-examination that he was retained by the defendant in May, 2001 for purposes of preparing the appraisal report. He stated that he had originally inspected the property in February of 1999 at the request of the Capital District Transportation Authority but did not prepare a subsequent appraisal report. He agreed that the subject parcel was one of only a few available vacant commercial parcels within the area surrounding the subject property. The witness was aware that in 1999 the Rensselaer Amtrak station was the tenth busiest railway station in the United States but did not include that information in his appraisal report. He also acknowledged that the report does not contain any photographs of the subject parcel as it existed prior to its acquisition by the State and, further, does not address the favorable zoning provided in a LB zone. Although Mr. Alvey relates in his appraisal report that East Street is a lightly traveled two way inner-city street he did not secure any traffic count data for inclusion in the report. He stated that he requested such data from the State regarding East Street but was informed that none was available. He made no such request and secured no such data regarding Route 4 or Routes 9 and 20.

With regard to comparable sales, the witness stated that he did not positively adjust the subject parcel to reflect its proximity to the Amtrak train station. Nor did he note that sale # 1 was a sale to an abutting owner. The witness agreed that the property denominated as sale # 4 is located in the Town of North Greenbush approximately six or seven miles from the subject parcel. He stated that although sale # 1 consisting of 1.25 acres is 30% smaller than the subject parcel of 1.739 acres he had allotted only a 5% size adjustment vis-a-vis the properties. Had a 30% size adjustment been made the overall net adjustment would have been reduced and the indicated value to the subject parcel would have increased to approximately $190,800.00.

Similarly, sale # 3 containing 1.13 acres was approximately 40% smaller than the subject parcel. The witness adjusted sale # 3 + 10% relative to size and agreed that had a 30% size adjustment been used the indicated value of the property relative to the subject would be $172,480.00.

The defendant called William Bamford, a licensed professional engineer employed by Smith & Mahoney. Mr. Bamford was retained by the defendant to analyze the development potential of the property and in preparation stated that he visited the site several times and reviewed the topographical plan for the site. During his site visits the witness observed that although the frontage along East Street was generally level it dropped sharply approximately 20 feet as it proceeded to the rear or westerly boundary of the property. A similarly steep drop-off existed on the Partition Street frontage of the property. According to the witness the topographical survey related that the average elevation at street level was approximately 46 feet above sea level while the elevation at the lower level was approximately 26 feet.

The engineering report prepared by the witness was received as Exhibit B and contained a two page letter and three attachments. Exhibit B reflects that Mr. Bamford prepared two alternative conceptual grading plans for the site, both of which would provide a relatively level building site. The first alternative proposed a .52 acre buildable area providing a slight slope as the property proceeded west from East Street. Alternative number one would require approximately 7,900 cubic yards of fill at an estimated cost of between $63,000.00 to $79,000.00 at a rate of $8.00 - $10.00 per cubic yard. Alternative number two provided a buildable area of approximately .81 acres and required approximately 17,400 cubic yards of fill material at a total cost of approximately $139,000.00 to $174,000.00. The witness stated that the proposals were designed to raise the property to a level even with East Street so that the property could be developed utilizing available storm water and sanitary sewers. The proposals were designed to provide a relatively level area even with East Street which would permit use of the property as either a parking lot or a building lot. He explained that the broken lines shown on the attachments to Exhibit B reflect the physical contours of the property at the time the topographical survey was taken and that the solid lines reflect the contours of the property subsequent to the work proposed. The witness stated that the proposals were not exclusive and that there were other feasible methods for developing the site. The costs reflected in the report reflect the cost per fill yard multiplied by the amount of fill required by the respective proposals. The cost of fill utilized in preparing the estimates reflect the cost as of the date of the report which is January 29, 2002.

On cross-examination the witness stated that he devoted approximately two days or sixteen hours to his investigation and the preparation of the report contained in Exhibit B. He stated that he did not prepare the "existing condition" topographical map utilized in preparation of the alternative proposals attached to Exhibit B, nor was he aware of the date when the topographical map was prepared. He agreed that Exhibits 6 and 7 appear to be the same maps provided by him to the defendant reflecting development option #1 and option #2. The witness acknowledged that neither map contains information reflecting the date on which it was prepared.

Exhibit 6 is the same map included in the witness's engineering report as option #1 requiring 7,900 cubic yards of fill to provide a buildable area of .52 acres. The witness did not consider any particular building plans for the site in preparing the report or the proposals contained in Exhibits 6 and 7 and stated that the level area provided in the proposals could be utilized for either a parking lot or a building. The witness stated that he was probably aware of the parcel's zoning at the time of preparation of his report and that it was not necessarily true that if a commercial building was placed on the site the amount of fill required would be less than reflected in his proposals due to the area occupied by the building's foundation. The witness stated that the report he prepared was generic in nature and did not anticipate any particular form of development.

Mr. Bamford reiterated his testimony on direct that he utilized the cost of fill as of January, 2002 in preparation of the cost estimates contained in the report. He stated that he has been involved as part of his work experience in the preparation of site plans for bi-level buildings. He stated that bi-level buildings are generally able to take advantage of topographical features existing at a particular site. He was unable to state the date when the base topographical map utilized in his report was prepared and did not know whether that date was before or after August 27, 1999. He stated that he was aware that the property had been graded subsequent to its taking by the State and related that the contours of the property at the time of the witness's site visits appeared generally consistent with the topography shown on the topographical maps utilized in his reports. The witness reiterated that he did not prepare the topographical map but rather used a topographical map available in his office. On redirect examination the witness related that he has previous experience in site plan developments and that not every building has a basement. On recross examination the witness related that options # 1 and # 2 contained in his report and reflected in Exhibits 6 and 7 depict the use of a minimum of 7,900 cubic feet of fill to prepare a generally level building area. He stated that were the property developed through the use of a bi-level building or a single level building with a basement the area devoted to the lower floors or basement would reduce accordingly the amount of fill required. If that area were occupied by building space less fill would be required.

The final witness at trial was Thomas C. Andress, a professional engineer licensed in the State of New York who was offered by the claimants as a rebuttal witness. Mr. Andress stated that his specialty is commercial development including site design. He stated that he reviewed and utilized the topographical information provided in the Bamford report in his study of the site. The witness stated that in his opinion the grading plan proposed by Mr. Bamford was not required in order to develop the parcel but rather simply provided a proposal for bringing the parcel to a point where there existed a buildable lot level with the elevation of East Street. Mr. Andress prepared a rebuttal report (Exhibit 8) in which he proposed two alternative methods for developing the site. The first such proposal was for the construction of a 163 space commercial parking lot which did not require the importation of fill. The second proposed development was for a retail/office building complex consistent with the property's LB zoning. The witness proposed in his plan the development of two lots utilizing a common driveway easement and a two story design with "grade access for the second floor in the front and for the lower first floor at the rear". According to the proposal such a design would eliminate the need for fill.

The witness stated that he was aware of applicable zoning as of August, 1999 and that he utilized the topographical maps provided to the defendant by Smith and Mahoney because the site had been altered at the time of his inspection during the fall of 2002. He stated his opinion that fill was not required in order to develop the site consistent with zoning and its highest and best use and that the two plans prepared by him and included in the rebuttal report provided for commercial use of the property without the need for importation of fill.

The witness stated on cross-examination that the parking lot plan included in the rebuttal report required cutting and reallocation of soil but that he performed the calculations necessary to confirm that adequate fill existed at the site to support the plan. The witness inspected the property in the fall of 2002 but did not take soil samples to determine if the property was suitable for use as a parking lot nor did he consider water runoff issues or utilities in preparing what he described as a conceptual design. He agreed that certain costs related to utilities and water runoff would be a factor in any site development plan. The witness stated that although he did not perform soil tests at the subject property it was his opinion based on his experience in the same general geographic area that the soils at the site were adequate to support construction of the parking lot. Although the sub-base material and thickness of the asphalt may vary, the witness stated that a parking lot can be constructed on most any soil type.

With regard to the retail/office plan, the witness agreed that there are potential extra costs incurred in constructing a bi-level building into a slope such as that which existed at the site. These costs include somewhat higher design costs and additional costs incurred in construction of a foundation which would also act as a retaining wall and therefore require thicker walls and additional steel reinforcement.

On redirect examination the witness stated that he first visited the site approximately one week prior to the date the opinion letter was prepared on October 15, 2002. Based on the topographical map utilized by Mr. Bamford it was the witness's opinion that there was no need to import fill in order to develop the property in a commercially viable manner.

Finally, Mr. Andress stated on recross examination that the parking lot proposed in his rebuttal report was proposed at a 4% cross-slope which he stated was within the normal range for a parking lot.

At the conclusion of the proof the claimants moved to strike the engineering report prepared by Mr. Bamford and received in evidence as Exhibit B based upon the argument that the cost of fill related in the report reflected costs as of January, 2002 and not costs in effect as of August 27, 1999. Claimant also argued that there was no showing that the base topographical contours shown on the map reflect conditions which existed as of the date of the taking.

The Court reserved on the motion which is now granted. Absent proof of the cost of fill and other improvements to the subject in 1999 dollars the State's engineering report lacks relevance and hence cannot serve as a basis for lowering the subject's value. Similarly the State's topographical map must be disregarded absent proof of its date of origin vis-a-vis the date of taking or other proof demonstrating that the land contours contained therein are the same or substantially similar to the contours on the taking date. Testimony regarding improvements allegedly required to bring the subject to grade level with East Street has also been disregarded.

Highest and Best Use

In his appraisal filed with the Court on January 30, 2002 claimants' appraiser Leonard B. Berdan at page 5 opined that the highest and best use of the subject before the taking was for "commercial development consistent with zoning." Similarly, the State's appraiser in his report (Defendant's Exhibit C, at p. 23) opined that the subject's "highest and best use would be a commercial use which would combine compatibility with the train station as well as servicing the needs of the local neighborhood residents." Secondarily, the State's appraiser suggested that the subject could be "assembled with the two abutting properties, but topographical considerations would impact its marketability, utility and value."

Applying the four well established criteria for highest and best use, i.e., legal permissibility, physical possibility, financial feasibility and maximum profitability and cognizant of both the subject's location, physical characteristics and generous LB (local business) zoning the Court concludes that the highest and best use of the subject in the before situation was commercial development in conformity with local zoning.

Valuation Before Taking

It is established that the standard for determining proper compensation in condemnation cases is "market value at the time of appropriation, that is, the price a willing buyer would have paid a willing seller for the property" (Town of Islip, Matter of, [Mascioli], 49 NY2d 354, 360). "The valuation is to be based upon the highest and best use of the property, regardless of whether the condemnee is so using the property at the time (Matter of County of Suffolk [Firester], 37 NY2d 649, 652)" (Breitenstein, Matter of v State of New York, 245 AD2d 837, 839). The Appellate Division, Third Department, further cautioned in Breitenstein, (supra, at 839) that:
[W]here the property is not being put to its highest and best use at the time of taking, the proper rule to be employed in ascertaining value is to treat the property neither as raw acreage nor as having attained its highest and best use, but rather to add to the value of the acreage an increment for its potential use (id.).

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The increment would presumably reflect, or at least be reviewable as to, the application of "proper discounts for the cost that would be incurred if the land were developed for a particular use as its highest and best use" (Matter of County of Clinton [Gagnon], 204 AD2d 898, 899; Matter of Iroquois Gas Transmission Sys. [Kudlack], 226 AD2d 808, 809).

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Of course, where values are ascertained with reference to truly comparable sites, i.e., those with similar highest and best uses but not yet so developed, there is no need for the use of an increment (see, e.g., Marks v State of New York, 152 AD2d 930; United Artists Theatre Circuit v State of New York, 53 AD2d 784).
Here, each party's appraiser relied on the sales comparison approach to valuation in the before situation, but analyzed the data in a slightly different fashion. As noted in the evidentiary presentation above, claimants' appraiser chose a dollar per acre basis while the State's appraiser used a site to site approach. Both agreed, however, that the valuation process was somewhat skewed by the limited number of sales in the City of Rensselaer. The Court will also use the sales comparison approach to valuation as the best indication of value guided by the Third Department's instructions in Breitenstein (supra) to the extent possible based on the evidence presented at trial.

The parties offered widely divergent appraisals of the subject properties before taking value. Claimants assert the value is $280,000 (rounded up from $278,240 based on $160,000/acre x 1.739 acres) while the State alleges the before taking value is $125,000. The parties also offered varying comparable sales with claimants' non-adjusted sale prices ranging from a low of $160,000 per acre (Sale #2) to $209,239 per acre (Sale #1) and adjusted indicated values per acre ranging from $130,000 to $179,239 per acre (see Claimants' Exhibit 4, p. 7). The Court disregarded claimants' comparable sale #5 which occurred subsequent to the taking and was not included in claimants' adjustment grid (see Claimants' Exhibit 4, p. 7). Defendant on the other hand offered comparable sales having non-adjusted sale prices between $80,321 per acre[2] to $160,000 per acre and adjusted indicated values to the subject varying from $120,160 per acre to $137,500 per acre (See Defendant's Exhibit C, pp 25-29).

Of these varying comparable sales the Court found that the one sale common to both parties (i.e., Claimants' #2 and State's #1) was the most analogous to the subject property and will be used as the foundation for this Court's analysis (see, CNG Transmission Corp., Matter of (Green), 273 AD2d 726, 728). It will be referred to hereafter as the comparable sale property. The comparable sale property was subjected to the following adjustments by the parties as indicated in the grid below. It should be noted that claimants applied their adjustments to the stated price per acre of the comparable sale property while the State applied its adjustments against the sale price of the comparable sale property adjusted by a +6% trend factor. In order to compare the parties' figures it was necessary to convert the defendant's sale figures to a price per acre value. These figures are included in the third column of the grid below.

Comparable Sale Property

June 27, 2003
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

[1].Claimants' appraisal report filed with the Court on January 30, 2002 apparently misidentified the tax map number as 174.52-1-1.11.
[2].Although information pertaining to defendant's comparable sale #4 (Defendant's Exhibit C, page 28) does not contain a per acre sales price the above figure was arrived at by dividing the listed sale price by the indicated acreage ($150,200 ÷ 1.87 acres).