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Queens Chronicle

MTA okays Flushing LIRR negotiations

Railroad looks to purchase Main Street store, land for ADA elevator

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Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:25 am, Thu Feb 6, 2014.

The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday gave its Real Estate Department the go-ahead to acquire property that will be essential for the installation of elevators at the Long Island Rail Road’s Flushing-Main Street station.

LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said Tuesday that the board’s Finance Committee had voted to recommend the purchase.

The land in question sits at 40-36 Main St., just north of the Main Street trestle. It is occupied by the Ou Jiang City Supermarket.

A planned $8.5 million renovation of the station will include the installation of elevators on both sides of the tracks, which right now are not handicapped-accessible.

While the resolution does include the possibility of taking the land if necessary, a statement issued by the MTA said both its legal and real estate divisions have been in contact with the property owner and the store owner since before a public hearing held last Oct. 28, and that they will work to reach a negotiated price in an effort to avoid eminent domain proceedings.

In response to concerns raised at the hearing by Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing), the MTA said its staff will continue working with both owners in an effort “to address their concerns and mitigate impacts as much as is reasonably possible.”

The MTA said the nearest LIRR station that is accessible to people in wheelchairs under the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act is at Broadway, about two miles east of downtown Flushing.

The MTA also will ask designers to consider a pedestrian overpass connecting Main Street’s east- and westbound platforms.

Arena said no timetable for construction can be considered unless and until the MTA purchases the land.

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