New York Public Lands Law
Sale of Unappropriated State Lands; Notice and Place of Public Sales
§ 33. Sale of unappropriated state lands; notice and place of public sales.
1. The commissioner of general services may, from time to time, sell unappropriated state lands at public auction or by sealed bids in such parcels as he deems for the best interests of the state. Previous to every sale, he shall fix the lowest sum at which each lot may be sold, and shall designate at least one newspaper in the county where the lands to be sold are situated, in which the commissioner shall cause notice of the time, place and description of sale to be published, at least once a week for four weeks, successively, before the sale. Such notice need not be published in any other paper or papers, and any statute requiring additional publication of notices or advertisements by state officers or a department, board, bureau or commission of the state shall not apply to such notice. The commissioner may designate a representative of his office to conduct such sale. All such sales shall be held at the county seat of the county where the property is situated, unless otherwise directed by the commissioner. Upon such sales of unappropriated state land to a purchaser procured by any licensed real estate broker and the payment of the purchase price in the amount offered by such broker in behalf of the purchaser, the commissioner of general services is authorized to pay, subject to such terms and conditions as the commissioner may prescribe, a commission to such broker out of monies available therefor. Uniform rates of commission shall, from time to time, be fixed by the commissioner but shall not exceed six percentum of the purchase price. No commission shall be paid for the procuring of any sale unless (1) written authority of the broker to make such offer on a form acceptable to the commissioner, signed by the person for whom he is acting, shall be filed with the commissioner before the day of the sale and unless (2) the broker shall furnish to the commissioner evidence in such form and extent as he may require establishing that the purchaser was procured as the result of the broker’s services. In no event shall a broker who is paid a commission by the commissioner as herein provided accept any other commission or fee from any person or source for brokerage services relating to the sale of such unappropriated state land.
2. (a) Whenever a street or highway, including any adjacent land acquired or held by the state in connection with such street or highway, the title to the bed of which is in the state, shall have been legally abandoned or closed, in whole or in part, the commissioner of general services may sell and convey at public auction or by sealed bids at not less than the appraised value, in such parcels as he directs, all the right, title and interest of the state in such abandoned or closed street or highway, or the part so abandoned or closed, and in any adjacent land acquired or held by the state in connection with such street or highway; and where, in the judgment of such commissioner, a public auction is not for the best interests of the state the commissioner, in his discretion, may sell and convey such parcels of said lands at private sale to the owners of adjacent lands for a price not less than the appraised value and on such terms and conditions as the commissioner may impose.
(b) The commissioner of general services may sell and convey parcels of unappropriated state land which (i) do not constitute legal building lots in the municipality in which they are located and (ii) have an appraised value of less than twenty thousand dollars each at private sale to any owner of adjacent lands. Consideration for such sales shall be for a price not less than the appraised value and such additional terms and conditions as the commissioner may deem necessary.
3. The commissioner of general services is authorized in his discretion to sell and convey at private sale upon such terms and conditions as he may deem proper, and to remise and quitclaim all the right, title and interest of the state in and to any unappropriated state lands acquired by or through tax sale where it shall appear that such lands are and have been privately occupied under color of title continuously for ten years or where the applicant has, in good faith, a continuous chain of title going back more than ten years from the date of application. Any such sale, if made, shall be to the person or persons claiming title because of such occupation or under such chain of title, and shall be for a consideration not less than the fair market value of the state’s interest as determined by the commissioner.
4. Where a petition is presented to a surrogate’s court of this state for an order directing the sale of a decedent’s real property for any of the purposes provided for in section one thousand nine hundred two of the surrogate’s court procedure act or otherwise, and there is reason to believe that such real property may have escheated to the people of the state of New York, and a final judgment in an action by reason of such escheat, as provided for in section two hundred and one of the abandoned property law, has not been entered, the commissioner of general services may, if it is deemed to be in the best interests of the state, authorize the attorney general to consent to such order for the sale of such real property, either at public auction or by sealed bids or private sale. A deed thereupon executed and delivered pursuant to the terms and provisions of such order, upon such consent of the attorney general, shall be deemed a bar to any claim of title of the people of the state of New York, by virtue of such escheat, in the property so sold, but shall not be deemed to affect any rights that the people of the state of New York may have in or to the proceeds of such sale. Consent, however, to such an order shall not be given in the event the price offered on a proposed private sale of such real property is less than the appraised value thereof as determined by the commissioner of general services.
5. (a) The commissioner of general services may sell and convey improved, unappropriated state lands by competitive solicitation of offers through a request for proposals or similar method where in his or her judgment, a public auction is not in the best interests of the state. Such solicitation shall document the minimum qualitative and quantitative factors in addition to sale price to be used as criteria in the evaluation of offers and the general manner in which the evaluation process and selection of the most responsive and responsible offeror is to be conducted. Clarifications may be sought from offerors for purposes of assuring a full understanding of responsiveness to the solicitation requirements. Where provided for in the solicitation, revisions may be permitted from all offerors determined to be eligible for award. Disclosure of the content of competing offers, other than statistical tabulations of offers received or of any clarifications or revisions thereto, shall be prohibited prior to award. All offers or separable parts thereof may be rejected.
(b) Establishment of the minimum sale price for the competitive solicitation shall be based upon a certified appraisal or certified appraisal report as defined in article six-E of the executive law.
(c) The commissioner of general services shall designate at least one newspaper in the county where the lands to be offered are situate, in which he or she shall cause a notice of the solicitation to be published at least once a week for four weeks successively before the date set forth for receipt of offers.