ST. JAMES, N.Y., June 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Gyrodyne Company of America, Inc. (Nasdaq: GYRO), a Long Island-based real estate investment trust, announced today that the Court of Claims of the State of New York issued an opinion requiring the State to pay to Gyrodyne an additional $98,685,000 for land appropriated in 2005. Under New York's eminent domain law (the "EDPL"), Gyrodyne is also entitled, subject to EDPL Section 514, to statutory simple interest on the additional amount at a rate not to exceed nine percent (9%) per annum from November 2, 2005, the date of the taking, to the date of payment.
The opinion was issued in connection with Gyrodyne's claim brought in April 2006 for just compensation for the 245.5 acres of its Flowerfield property in St. James and Stony Brook, New York (the "Property"), taken by the State. The State had paid Gyrodyne $26,315,000 for the Property at the time of the taking, which Gyrodyne elected, under the eminent domain law, to treat as an advance payment while it pursued its claim.
In its opinion, the Court agreed that the State had improperly valued the Property and misapplied the eminent domain law's requirement that just compensation be determined based upon the highest and best use and the probability that such use could have been achieved. Applying this standard, the Court determined that there was a reasonable probability that the Property would have been rezoned from light industrial use to a planned development district, thereby resulting in the aforementioned award to Gyrodyne.
Commenting on the opinion, Stephen V. Maroney, Gyrodyne's President and Chief Executive Officer, stated that, "[w]e are extremely pleased with the Court's decision. Our goal was to seek just compensation for our shareholders. Since 2005, we have devoted significant attention and resources to achieving this goal. We have always been confident that our claims were supported by the facts, which our attorneys and advisors ably presented to the Court throughout the litigation. Though we do not know what steps will be taken by the State, we anticipate that final resolution of the litigation will facilitate the fulfillment of the Company's strategic goals, both with respect to Flowerfield and generally."Gyrodyne intends on submitting an application to the Court seeking reimbursement of attorneys' fees and costs. Gyrodyne cannot predict how the State will react to the Court's opinion procedurally, including whether it will file a notice of appeal. As a result, the amount of a final award and the timing of payment are unknown at this time. Gyrodyne intends to pursue its rights vigorously, seeking payment in accordance with the Court's opinion and any further determinations.