Lawsuit seeks to block eminent domain claim for vacant building

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2021 | Eminent Domain |

Eminent domain is a unique area of the law that might sound foreign to people in Maumee, Toledo and throughout Ohio. It will generally sound unfathomable that a person’s property can simply be taken away if it is deemed necessary for a public project. However, it does happen. Fortunately, those who are opposed to their property being subject to eminent domain have rights to fight the attempt. This can also be effective in ensuring that the proper compensation is given if it goes through. Having professional advice in these cases is essential to be fully protected.

Vacant building at center of eminent domain lawsuit

A corner building in Cleveland is the subject of a lawsuit over eminent domain. According to the case, the owners say that the Port Authority is trying to take the property using false claims that it is needed for a hillside stabilization project. The project costs approximately $45 million and it is designed to keep the hillside from sliding into the river causing significant damage. Attempts to acquire the land for the project have been ongoing for 10 years. After stabilizing the area, a park will be built.

Not long ago, the building was purchased by a businessman and his father. It cost slightly more than $248,000. The unused building was once the home of a hamburger establishment. It is the only building that has not been acquired by those who running the project. The lawsuit asks that the Port Authority take certain steps to stabilize the hillside. It also accuses the CEO of the port of making inaccurate statements regarding the need to take the property.

The owners want more than $25,000 from the CEO and are making claims against other entities. For property to be acquired through eminent domain, certain hurdles must be overcome including declaring the acquisition a “public necessity.” Another aspect is accurately appraising the property so a fair offer to the owners can be made. The cost of doing as the owners ask is said to be $5 million, which the port and others balk at.

Eminent domain disputes can be complicated and will require professional help

There are many factors that must be considered with eminent domain. Even if an owner wants to keep the property, the reality is that if it is a major project with governmental backing, it will likely be taken. However, it is vital to know how to maximize compensation in the case. Regardless of the circumstances, those who are confronted with an eminent domain claim should be cognizant of their rights. Having advice, assistance and representation from those who are well-versed in these cases can be helpful from the start.