Los Angeles Business Journal

Monrovia Property Wins $24 Million Gold Line Settlement

By Alfred Lee Monday, February 13, 2012

A Monrovia owner of property deemed essential for a Gold Line maintenance yard has settled his legal fight against the light-rail line for $24 million.

As part of the settlement, George Brokate will drop his six lawsuits and sell his 4.5 acre-industrial property to the Gold Line Construction Authority, which is building an extension of the rail line to Azusa.

Gold Line officials had previously offered Brokate $5.6 million, compared with a $57 million offer to Monrovia’s redevelopment agency for its neighboring 12.5-acre property – nearly four times more per acre. Gold Line and Monrovia officials had defended the discrepancy, saying there was a difference between public and private entities.

But Brokate waged a public battle demanding a similar deal and now with the settlement has received more than quadruple the original price. Meanwhile, the deal with Monrovia is in limbo due to the elimination of redevelopment agencies by Gov. Jerry Brown.

“This is an absolutely tremendous victory, not only for my client but for all members of the public who are oppressed by government,” said Brokate’s attorney, Robert Silverstein.

Brokate’s property was on the site of a planned maintenance yard the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority considered so critical that the agency would not pay for the line’s continued construction until at least half of the 25-acre Monrovia site was acquired.

Gold Line Construction Authority Chief Executive Habib Balian stated in a press release that the settlement with Brokate means that requirement has been met.

“Meeting this milestone allows the project to stay on budget and on schedule,” he said.