Verdict Drives Up Land Price

September 23, 2010 – In The News

Marlton Plaza Associates, owner of Marlton Crossing shopping center, sued the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) for a 10,000-square-foot piece of land the center lost due to the state’s Marlton Circle elimination project. The Department must pay $1.6 million, more than eight times its original offer of $194,000, for what used to be one of the center’s three driveways onto Route 73. David Snyder, who represented a property owner whose property was taken by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, explained to the jury the details of the damages that the shopping center will suffer from losing the driveway. He said, “The DOT wanted the jury to simply consider the land, just the value of the dirt,” and ignore the repercussions of taking away one of the center’s essential driveways.

Snyder noted in a blog on the firm’s web site that, “Generally, New Jersey property owners are not permitted to seek such damages as long as the remaining access is reasonable. However, there are exceptions, including if the change in access caused ‘on site impact’ such as vehicular maneuverability issues.” The shopping center is to receive interest on the amount owed since the time the state acquired the driveway in August 2007.