When commercial and retail use properties are targeted for acquisition using the power of eminent domain, the landowner is not the only affected party. Any businesses located on the premises may sustain significant losses and may be included as a party in a condemnation action. Many retail and commercial properties rely upon the access and visibility to traffic traveling on major roadways and highways. Because of their location along well-traveled roads, such properties may be more susceptible to acquisition for transportation projects.
A business’s success may be determined by its location, the ease of which customers can access the location, and availability of parking. If a business is required to relocate due to condemnation, the business’s profitability and viability are at risk. In some states, business owners may be entitled to compensation for this loss, which is known as business damages, business losses, loss of goodwill or diminished goodwill. Such losses include those that a business sustains as a direct result of the eminent domain taking, such as lost profits. An experienced eminent domain lawyer can determine what compensation or other remedies your business is entitled to receive and can assist you in recovering the maximum amount of compensation or non-monetary benefits due to your business under eminent domain laws.
As the landowner, there are significant concerns you will have regarding your property. If only a portion of the property is required for a partial taking, you may be entitled to receive severance damages for the damages to the remainder property. Other compensation or remedies may be available to counter the negative effects of the taking, such as compensation for loss of access, relocation assistance, compensation to “cure” any damages to the property. Experienced eminent domain counsel can assist in determining the compensation and other remedies you may be entitled to receive under the law. Condemnation lawyers will also guide you in through the process to insure that you are able to recover just compensation for the loss of your property.
Eminent domain is a proceeding exercised against the real estate, not the owner or businesses operating on the property. Condemnation removes ownership of the real estate and all interests in it, including leaseholds, from the landowner and lessees and transfers to the condemning authority. Landlords and tenants have unique objectives and responsibilities under their contractual relationship. As such, the rights at issue are contractual, rather than constitutional, and subject to competing interpretations. Because the landlord-tenant relationship is multilayered and interrelated, both parties should seek experienced eminent domain counsel to ensure that their individual needs are met.
Case Studies – Commercial and Retail Properties Acquired by Condemnation
Please note: The just compensation awards received by the property owners in the above case studies are samples of the results Owners’ Counsel of America attorneys have achieved for their commercial clients. While we can not guarantee the same or similar result in every case, this information is presented to assist you in understanding possible scenarios that can affect your property rights as well as to demonstrate the skill of OCA lawyers. The outcome of your case will depend upon its particular facts and circumstances. It should not be assumedthat your case willconclude with a result similar to the case studies above.