Yonkers Mulls Using Eminent Domain To Seize MTA Lot Blocking River Development

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The city of Yonkers said the MTA is putting the brakes on its waterfront revitalization plans.

The problem is an MTA bus depot owned by New York City, right on prime property on the Hudson River.

As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, Yonkers may now seize that land using eminent domain laws.

After 20 years of revitalization efforts, more upscale housing developments are still going up on the Hudson River waterfront in Yonkers.

“For me to come back and see this kind of progress, it’s like wow!” Jerry Johnson said.

Johnson grew up nearby in the 70s and can’t believe the transformation.

“I think it’s absolutely phenomenal what they’ve done to improve the waterfront,” he said. “I think they should go all the way as far as they can actually make it.”

The city does have plans to continue the waterfront esplanade all the way along the shoreline as once industrial sites are cleaned up, but there’s one thing blocking the way.

The MTA has 80 buses housed on four prime acres owned by the city of New York.

“Our message to New York City is very clear; stop taking Yonkers taxpayers for a ride,” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said.

Spano said they are on the verge of condemning the site and seizing it through eminent domain if the city won’t budge on selling it. He said a loophole allowed New York to avoid paying $12-million in property taxes on the site over the past year.

“Instead we have collected gas fumes, noise pollution, congested streets, and wear and tear on our roads,” he said.

CBS2 reached out to the MTA and the city for a comment, but so far there has been no response.

The MTA wants Yonkers to find and pay for another site to house the buses, but the latest estimated price tag is about $45-million.

Yonkers officials said they got an independent appraisal showing the site is only worth $6-million.

Yonkers has already held hearings on using its eminent domain power to seize the land, but no final decision has been made.

 

 

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