State officials have begun the process of snapping up two pieces of property in Tarrytown as part of their efforts to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge.
Authorities from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office have their eyes on an underwater section of Tarrytown which sits along the Hudson River at the foot of the bridge's Westchester County entrance, Village Administrator Mike Blau confirmed. Also, a 1,900-square-feet strip of land that starts near the shoreline within The Quay, a waterfront condominium complex, is also of interest to state officials.
How the parcels fit into the new construction is still not known.
"We just know that they need to take it," Blau said. "It's not for us to question why they need to take it," Blau said.
He said he has a Tuesday meeting scheduled with the state's appraiser, which will eventually lead to an offer. According to state guidelines, the price must be "market value." Once the state comes back with a number, "then we will either accept it or fight it," Blau said.
For the homeowners at The Quay, who already feared the impact of construction of a new bridge so close by, the state's purchase will put the new span right in their backyards and they said they feel powerless to say no.
"Our choices are to accept the offer as is or to accept the offer with the understanding that we have to go to court," said Alice Goldberg, board president for the development's 145 residents.
"We have no power," she said.
The property which the state wants to buy at The Quay is a section of the 89-unit complex that begins at the scenic shoreline and runs uphill through the brush to approach the clubhouse and tennis court, according to Goldberg.
While this sliver is "not huge" and may see no actual construction, Goldberg said it is so close to The Quay's clubhouse, tennis court and pool that it will further diminish their property values.
Goldberg said she had a Dec. 7 introductory private meeting with a state Department of Transportation official that also included discussion of an easement to provide direct access from The Quay to the river, which will be used to transport building supplies via barges in an effort to reduce surface road traffic.
State officials did not respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, a Monday vote has been scheduled by the state Thruway Authority to approve a $3.1 billion bid to build a new bridge.
Up until now, owners at The Quay have been fighting for remediation to protect both their property values and address environmental factors stemming from their location near the foot of the Tappan Zee's entrance on the Westchester side of the bridge.
The state's attempt to acquire a piece of their property brings the issue home at a time when they still have no resolution on remediation, Goldberg fumed. Their request that the state buy their homes has already been rejected by Cuomo's team. Still on the table are demands for sound-buffering windows, wall insulation and mitigation to protect the pool, clubhouse and tennis court.
"I'm still hoping that we'll be treated fairly," Goldberg said.