Even churches, convents, mosques, temples, and synagogues are subject to condemnation proceedings. If the government determines it needs to acquire a property for the greater good of the community, religion is not a mitigating factor to save a parcel of land. Ackerman & Ackerman has consistently demonstrated our firm has the talent to obtain fair financial settlements when there is a property taking of a religious house of worship.
Goodwill Community Chapel: This church was a respected community pillar and used by the local Boys Club. The City of Detroit condemned the property, similar to dozens of parcels in the neighborhood, in order to build the Pole Town GM Assembly Plant in the 1980s which manufactured Cadillacs and later Buicks. The Poletown project was touted by the City as a necessary economic development catalyst for urban Detroit. It was a highly controversial project.
The Chapel was a 20,000-square-foot facility spanning three floors. The City originally offered $43,000 for the property. Our firm was hired by the Chapel and took the case to court. After two trials and three appeals, the case was finally resolved with the payment of $440,000 to the property owner.
First Latin American Baptist Church: This urban church was a fixture for decades on Ford Street in downtown Detroit. Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) condemned the property as part of the Detroit International River Crossing Project, subsequently called the Gordie Howe Bridge. The church was offered $420,000 for its property after MDOT’s attorney argued that the building was not in demand and of little public use. Following a year of discovery, MDOT settled the case for a reasonable fair market value of $1,000,000.