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July 18th, 2013 — By — In News & Events

North Carolina Eminent Domain Settlement: Largest in NCDOT History

Recently, with just two weeks remaining before trial, OCA North Carolina attorney-members George B. Autry, Jr. and Stephanie Hutchins Autry facilitated, on behalf of their landowner client, the settlement of an eminent domain matter pending in Charlotte (Mecklenburg County) with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).  The settlement totaling $22,500,000 represents a 75% increase over NCDOT’s initial offer of $16,864,000 and, we understand, the largest eminent domain settlement in NCDOT history.

North Carolina Dept. of Transportation v. Independence Shopping Center Charlotte, NC LLC involved the partial taking of a shopping center property, including approximately 25% of the center’s improvements.  In reaching the final settlement of just compensation, the value of the center’s remaining improvements was pivotal.  In the end, NCDOT agreed that the remaining improvements were worth much less, or had no value, as a result of the taking. The landowner hired appraisers Dennis Gruelle, MAI and Richard Marchitelli, MAI, CRE to assist in determining the value of the property and just compensation for the taking.

As Gideon Kanner remarked in his “Lowball Watch” post about this case: “What is remarkable about this case (and others like it that settle for large sums over the condemnor’s offer) is that the condemnor settled instead of fighting to the bitter end, which is a sort of an admission on its part that it was trying to lowball the property owner.”