The Los Angeles Business Journal reports that a Monrovia city property owner has settled a lawsuit with the state government’s Gold Line Construction Authority. Gold Line was planning to build a maintenance yard for public transportation vehicles during an expansion of light-rail service. This yard was to be placed on property that George Brokate of Monrovia owned. Brokate was originally offered $5.6 million by the company, but filed suit to claim more when he realized a similar property owned by the city of Monrovia was given $57 million. Gold Line insisted the discrepancy was due to a distinction between publicly- and privately-owned land. Ultimately, Brokate and Gold Line reached a settlement of $24 million, nearly four times the original offer, to cede the property to the state of California.
“Holding out for more” is sometimes a good strategy when dealing with property transactions, especially when the government is involved. Brokate had in his possession property that was described as “critical” to the expansion plans. If you ever come to a business deal involving land or property, be sure to know not only how much it is potentially worth, but also how much money similar property has gone for in the past. Such research definitely helped Mr. Brokate get the big bucks in this settlement.