Delphi sues Lockport for 90 percent assessment cut - The Buffalo News

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Delphi sues Lockport for 90 percent assessment cut

LOCKPORT – Delphi Property Management filed suit against the City of Lockport last week, seeking a 90 percent reduction in the assessed valuation of its property.

However, the company’s attorney said the reduction number isn’t a firm demand.

The usual practice in assessment suits is to seek a big reduction, because by law a company can’t do any better than its initial claim, said Sean Cronin, a Long Island lawyer.

“In order to protect our clients, we put a number at the lower end,” he said. “As the case proceeds, we’ll be negotiating a value based on reports from our appraisers.”

The General Motors property on Upper Mountain Road was subdivided in April, with GM Components Holdings keeping most of it, according to Lena Villella of the City Assessor’s Office. Delphi kept the administration building and the surrounding 16.62 acres of land.

The city assessed the building and land at $4.4 million. Delphi’s suit suggests a revised figure of $444,260.

The boundary between the City and the Town of Lockport cuts through a corner of the administration building, Villella said. Delphi didn’t sue the town, because taxable status day in the town is March 1, so the subdivision won’t be accounted for on the 2015 town tax rolls.

But the city’s status deadline is May 1, so the city had to make a separate assessment of the building and surrounding land.

Deputy Corporation Counsel Michael E. Benedict said he hasn’t read the lawsuit, but the city’s normal policy is to try to work out an agreement with those who file assessment suits.

This wasn’t the only assessment lawsuit filed against the city this month. Benderson Development Co. of Buffalo, owners of the Rite Aid plaza at South Transit and Summit streets, is seeking an assessment reduction from $1.6 million to a shade over $1 million.

The same company sued the Town of Niagara over two properties on Military Road: the former Perkins restaurant at 1785 Military and a lot next to the Fashion Outlets mall at 2100 Military. The eatery should have its assessment cut from $500,000 to $150,000, and the lot from $400,000 to $240,000, the suits claimed.

The Town of Lockport absorbed five assessment suits, including one from HD Development of Maryland, owners of the Home Depot Plaza on South Transit Road, seeking an assessment reduction from $6.4 million to $5 million

Another Benderson unit, owners of the strip of stores on the southern edge of the Tops Plaza, asked for its $6.8 million assessment to be cut in half.

Lockport Partners, a unit of General Growth Properties of Chicago, the owners of the Bon-Ton store on South Transit Road, asked for a cut in that store’s assessed valuation from $2.59 million to $1.5 million.

And Suburban Rapids LLC, owners of mobile home parks on Rapids and Minnick roads, also went to court over assessments. The company wants the valuation of the Minnick Road park dropped from $2.86 million to $573,200, while it claims the Rapids Road site’s assessment should be reduced from $1.87 million to $375,000.

NTWal Associates, owners of a Walgreens store at 1066 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda, sued that city to try to obtain an assessment cut from $3.6 million to $1.66 million.


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