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UNITED STATES v. II ACRES

February 10, 1944

UNITED STATES
v.
II ACRES OF LAND, MORE OR LESS, IN PORT WASHINGTON, NASSAU COUNTY, N.Y., et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CAMPBELL

CAMPBELL, District Judge.

This is a condemnation proceeding instituted by the United States of America on October 31st, 1942, for the purpose of acquiring approximately 11 acres of land, as improved on March 31st, 1942. Title to said property vested in the United States on October 31st, 1942, but the value of the property is to be established based upon its physical condition as of the date the Goverment went into possession, that is, March 31st, 1942. The property has been variously estimated by the witnesses to comprise 10.9 acres, 11 acres and 11.05 acres erroneously stated to be 11.8 acres. I will consider that the property comprises 11 acres as described in the petition herein.

This property is located on Manhasset Isle, so-called, in the Village of Hanorhaven, Town of North Hempstead, County of Nassau.

 The property is distant about 20 to 22 miles from Central New York City, 2 miles from the Long Island Railroad station serving this community, and one and one-half miles from Port Washington. Manhasset Isle comprises 80.05 acres, of which 36 acres have been zoned since 1930 for industrial use, and the remainder for residential use. Approximately thirty buildings had been built in the residential area, and these were in the $2,000 to $4,000 class. The land is surrounded on three sides by the waters of Manhasset Bay. In the industrial area, which comprises, with the exception of the subject property, approximately 24 acres of upland and 22 acres of land under water, which could be filled to the bulkhead line, and all of which upland was solid dry land with the exception of approximately 2 acres, there were and still are but two industrial activities -- a small boat-yard rented from the county for $25 per month, and a small bulk oil station. These two industrial activities occupy about one-half an acre of the entire undeveloped industrial area of 36 acres.

 Except for these two minor industrial activities, and the activities of the former owners of the subject property, the entire industrial area of 36 acres has been entirely devoid of industrial development.

 The improvements as they existed on the property on March 31st, 1942, when the Government took possession, were as follows:

 North Hangar (referred to in these proceedings as Government Building No. 2 and Claimant's Building "C").

 This building was of steel, brick and glass construction having the following dimensions: 130 feet wide by 312 feet long and 50 feet high, with a clearance of 40 feet to the trusses. A former garage building, converted to an administration building, adjoined the north hangar. This building was 68x112 and of brick and steel construction, with a clearance of 12 to 14 feet.

 South Hangar (referred to in these proceedings as Government Building No. 1 and Claimant's Building "B").

 This building was likewise of brick, steel and glass construction and was 130 feet wide by 400 feet long and had a height of 30 feet with a clearance of 22.6 feet under the trusses. To the South Hangar there was an extension, referred to in these proceedings as the "Dope House" or building "A". This building was of brick and steel construction, and was 60 feet wide by 200 feet long, with a clearance of 18 feet. There was a small addition to the "Dope House" measuring 33x20. There were also two small frame buildings measuring 20x20 feet which were not described by the claimant's witnesses, but included by the Government's witness in his description of the property. There was also a boiler house 50x82 south of the South Hangar, in which one boiler had been installed, and in which where was room for two additional boilers.

 There was another proposed building, referred to in these proceedings as Building "D", which consisted merely of foundation and a steel skeleton. This building and never been completed, and the steel work was salvaged by the former owner and not taken by the government in this proceeding.

 The location of this steel frame work was to the east of the North nd South Hangars, and it was contemplated that both the North and South Hangars would be joined thereto. The east wall of the South Hangar was of temporary construction, in bad condition, and was covered over with asbestos sheeting. The east wall of the North Hangar was likewise of temporary construction, but more durable type of construction. The west wall of the North Hangar was never enclosed, and remained open at the time of taking by the Government.

 There were some heating facilities and radiation in the South Hangar, and the extension thereto, but the heating equipment was not in operating condition, and had never been in use since the property was acquired by the Marine Airport Corporation in 1933. The valves, pipes and fittings had become cracked, and the boilers were not in serviceable condition. The land improvements consisted of a floating walkway, which was removable, and which I understand was removed by the former owner, as was the steel skeleton framework of the building hereinbefore referred to.

 The property was enclosed by a steel fence 2,130 feet long, and there were three 25,000 gallon oil tanks buried in the ground to the southwest of the South Hangar. A wooden ramp had been constructed to the west of the South Hangar and a carpet ramp had been constructed to the west of the north and South Hangars. A small pier at the southerly end of the property had been constructed, as well as certain paving improvements consisting of concrete, macadam and other types of paving material. The property was served by a public water supply, but there was no sewerage disposal system serving the property. The water in ...


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