When the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) in Seattle, Washington announced plans to seize two subdivision lots on an inlet to the Pacific Ocean, a property owner within that subdivision did not know where to turn. Two local attorneys with eminent domain experience did not see sufficient basis for a claim and subsequently declined to represent the owner in his attempt to seek fair compensation for the proposed seizure. Frustrated and in need of experienced counsel in the highly specialized eminent domain arena, the owner put in a call to Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski.
The Detroit Marine Terminal seizure was initiated by the City of Detroit in order to secure a parcel of waterfront property (located near the city limit of Detroit and Dearborn) as part of plans to build a new municipal water purification plant. Viewing the property in question as essentially a wasted backland parcel with little value in a declining industrial area, the condemning authority initially extended an offer of approximately $4 million to the owner, Detroit Marine Terminals, Inc.
A Case of Underground Value
This case involved a gas storage field conversion/condemnation, where a formerly active 300-acre natural gas field would be repurposed as a gas storage field. The condemning authority, Washington 10 Gas Company, was a collaborative enterprise between major regional utilities and private investors. The company formally became a common carrier/public utility for the purposes of acquiring the gas field. After the condemning authority gained the rights to acquire and reuse the site, an initial compensation offer of approximately $1,000/acre—a total of $386,000—was made to the owner.
Car Wash Owners Clean Up
The City of Troy was moving forward with plans to expand Rochester Road, a major thoroughfare in arguably the busiest stretch of the city. As a result of the expansion, many businesses were confronted with partial takings, meaning that a portion of their property was being condemned for the project. In this case, the car washes were losing valuable frontage. After appraising the land in question, the City of Troy made a combined good faith written offer for both properties to the tune of $153,000. Following consultation with attorneys Alan Ackerman and Darius Dynkowski of Ackerman, Ackerman & Dynkowski, the defendants did not accept the initial offer.
Detroit Marina Terminal
Government Valuation: $4,000,000
Negotiated Settlement: $20,000,000
Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski delivers: $16,000,000
Buckland-Van Wald Furniture, Inc.
Government Valuation: $11,000
Negotiated Settlement: $5,000,000
Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski delivers: $4,989,000
General Motors Poletown Plant
Government Valuation: $357,000
Negotiated Settlement: $5,100,000
Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski delivers: $4,743,000
Hadyniak / Cieciek Properties
Government Valuation: $380,000
Negotiated Settlement: $2,025,000
Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski delivers: $1,645,000
Hill Farm / National Properties
Government Valuation: $365,000
Negotiated Settlement: $1,563,000
Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski delivers: $1,198,000
Big Boy Restaurant, Romulus, MI
Government Valuation: $361,945
Negotiated Settlement: $1,433,000
Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski delivers: $1,071,055