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Study: East Side rail link to boost some LI home values

East Side Access will boost the economy of

East Side Access will boost the economy of Long Island, according to a new study. Above, Vince DeNina, inspector on the East Side Access tunnel project, walks along work tracks of Tunnel B/C in Queens. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Property values for homes near Long Island Rail Road stations will jump by an average of $7,300 as commutes become easier when the LIRR completes its East Side Access link to Grand Central Terminal, according to a study released Monday.

In its study, "Rail Rewards: How LIRR's Grand Central Connection Will Boost Home Values," the Regional Plan Association, a nonprofit planning advocacy group, estimates that homes within a half-mile of LIRR stations will climb in value by $3,000 for every minute of commute time saved because of the project. The value of homes within 2 miles will go up by $2,000 for every minute saved, the study said.

About 600,000 Queens and Long Island homes stand to benefit, according to the study.

"East Side Access will provide the economy of Long Island with a much-needed boost," said Juliette Michaelson, the association's vice president for strategic initiatives and the lead author of the study. "When commutes are shorter, people have more time to do other things, and they will pay for the convenience."

East Side Access is scheduled to be completed by 2019 at a cost of no more than $8.24 billion, according to the MTA.

The project, which is being paid for through the MTA's capital plan and federal aid, will save commuters bound for Manhattan's East Side about 40 minutes a day compared with current options, such as taking the subway from Penn Station, officials said.

LIRR president Helena Williams said the study confirmed the LIRR's internal assessments of how the megaproject would boost Long Island's economy. She said homeowners in Suffolk County, in particular, stand to benefit because East Side Access -- combined with the LIRR's plan to build a second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma -- could make living farther east more attractive to people working in Manhattan."There's a direct connection between transit improvement and the housing market, and this study verifies that," Williams said.

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