PORT CHESTER, N.Y. — The village of Port Chester, N.Y., has kept two business owners, including one coin laundry owner, waiting for the almost $900,000 owed them after seizing their land to make way for a $100 million downtown shopping center.
Former property owners William Koppel and Anton Tomag are seeking the $631,935 and $265,716 that were due May 15. The amounts include the properties’ value, plus 6% annual interest from when the buildings, Megamat Laundry and Coneyz Restaurant, were condemned in 2001 and 2000. The owners have also requested the interest be doubled as a penalty.
“It’s just turned into an unnecessary and improper burden,” their attorney, Michael Rikon, told The Journal News. “This much of a delay is very unusual.”
He said the payments were owed in December and January, when all appeals in the case were withdrawn.
The village is owed the money by G&S Investors, which used the land for a 27-acre waterfront retail and entertainment complex, Rikon said.
Liane Watkins, the village’s attorney on the case, told The Journal News that Port Chester missed its May deadline because “the funds were not available at that time,” and said she hopes the business owners will be paid by June 24, the deadline for the village to respond to the court filings.
“It’s a monetary issue and a process issue,” she said. “These funds will come through and will be paid, which is why I think the motion is unnecessary.”
Rikon said neither owner was in business anymore, and Koppel is still using personal savings to pay off renovations on his defunct laundry.