Freeport Village suing school district for $45M in feud over potential land sale to Amazon

Suit disputes ownership of nine-acre Cleveland Avenue fields

Freeport Village suing school district for $45M in feud over potential land sale to Amazon
Village of Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy, and Cleveland Avenue fields (Google Maps, Twitter viaRobert Kennedy)

The Village of Freeport is in a legal battle over its wishes to use a nine-acre patch of land for the site of an Amazon distribution center.

The village is suing the Freeport Union Free School district for $45 million, according to Newsday. The lawsuit was filed in Nassau Supreme Court weeks after the school district revealed plans of a lawsuit of its own.

At stake is the Cleveland Avenue fields, situated between Merrick Road and Sunrise Highway. The fields have been used for years for baseball teams and other local sporting clubs.

Both sides in the dispute are reportedly claiming they have had access to the property for at least 70 years and are its rightful owners.

The village — which claims in the suit the school district’s case for the fields is “without basis in fact or merit” — is reportedly negotiating with Amazon to acquire the land for a distribution center and has requested land surveyors check out the property. Attorneys for the municipality told Newsday the deal could generate $40 million in revenue for the village and create 320 jobs.

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The school district, meanwhile, claims to be in possession of right of access documents dating back to 1949. The school board claims the village is intimidating the school district, going as far as to remove fences at the park in September.

The school district hasn’t filed litigation against Freeport, but Newsday reports a move is in the works.

The Amazon distribution center potentially planned for the site appears to be a last-mile warehouse, a facility that significantly cuts down on delivery times to customers. There are already four last-mile warehouses operating on Long Island and another six are planned for the region, not including the Freeport plot.

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[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner