Brinkmann’s Southold Store Suit Headed for Appeals

Ben and Hank Brinkmann of the Brinkmann's hardware store chain
Ben and Hank Brinkmann
Photo Courtesy of Institute for Justice

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit in which Brinkmann’s Hardware, a Sayville-based chain, sought to block the Town of Southold from condemning land where the company planned to build a new store.

The ruling — which the family-run company is expected to appeal to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals — found that the town properly applied the law regulating eminent domain, the legal process that allows governments to seize private property for public use.

The company planned to build a 12,000-square-foot store on the nearly two-acre property in Mattituck when the town stepped in to acquire the vacant land that officials say is being considered for use as a park.

In their lawsuit, filed in May 4 of 2021, Brinkmann’s alleged that the town had fabricated these plans to build a park on the Main Road location in order to condemn the land under eminent domain.

Brinkmann’s reportedly purchased the lot for $700,000 in 2016 and the town later enacted a construction moratorium in the area. The hardware chain said in court documents that Southold’s plans for building a park were “a sham.”

The judge says otherwise.

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