$2.2M Condemnation Settlement

New Jersey Law Journal, June 9, 2003

N.J. Department of Transportation v. Rahway Lumber Co.: New Jersey will pay $2.2 million for the Rahway property of the Rahway Lumber Co., which is needed for a road-widening project.

William Ward of Florham Park's Carlin & Ward, the company's lawyer, says the state Department of Transportation condemned the property, located where Routes 1 and 9 intersect with Hazelwood Avenue, for $1.25 million last year, but the owners asked for $2.5 million, setting the stage for litigation.

The store is on Hazelwood Avenue, which theoretically made the property worth about $325,000 per acre, much less than if it were on the main road, according to the state's initial appraisal, Ward says.

He argued that the ease of access and visibility from the highway made the value comparable to the $1 million per acre the state paid last year for an adjacent trucking company on Routes 1 and 9.

A condemnation commission found the property worth $1.77 million. Ward and the DOT's lawyer, Deputy Attorney General H. Edward Gabler, say the state agreed to call in the appraiser who valued the trucking company, and the new appraisal was for $1.92 million.

Union County Assignment Judge Edward Beglin approved the $2.2 million compromise.

Partner James Turteltaub assisted Ward. Daniel Bernstein, of Scotch Plains' Bernstein & Hoffman, chaired the condemnation commission.

- By Henry Gottlieb

VOL. CLXXII - No. 10 - Index 928
June 9, 2003

This article is reprinted with permission from the JUNE 9, 2003 issue of the New Jersey Law Journal. ©2003 NLP IP Company. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.