Small Business Condemnation

Small, commercial businesses can be gutted by condemnations. All too frequently, auto dealerships, gas stations, car washes, doctors offices and retail businesses are upended by the acquisition process. Our firm, as a leader in eminent domain law, is well-equipped to represent businesses of all size in defending your rights as a property owner and obtaining fair value for your land.

Silver Spring, Maryland:  Montgomery County Community College in Silver Spring, Maryland wanted to expand the footprint of its campus through the use of eminent domain.  It tried taking three separate parcels of property.

It made an offer of $1.2 million for an office building situated on a prime piece of land.  There was a failure by the Community College to recognize that the demand for office space was very high.  Ackerman & Ackerman settled the case for $4,000,000.

The College also filed a condemnation action to acquire a roadside motel.  The College initially offered $1,300,000 for the property.  Ackerman & Ackerman conveyed to the College the true value of the motel land in a high-growth area and resolved a settlement of $2,200,000.

Finally, the College offered $650,000 to acquire a veterinary clinic. Ackerman & Ackerman resolved a settlement of $1,250,000 by proving the unique medical utilization of the property.

Premier Famous Restaurant: The City of Detroit acquired a property where a well-known restaurant, Premier Famous Restaurant, ran its business with great success in Detroit for 40 years.

Because the restaurant was a month-to-month tenant at the property, the City originally made a $0 offer to the restaurant. The owner retained Ackerman & Ackerman, which established at trial that it was substantially probable that the tenancy or the restaurant would continue for an indefinite period.  

A jury verdict for the acquisition of the leasehold interest was entered in the amount of $87,000.  The amount was paid after appeal.

Buff Whelan Chevrolet:  The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) widened Van Dyke Avenue by taking the greenbelt between the sidewalk and the roadway, which the dealership used to showcase cars.  The dealership felt the loss of this extra space harmed its ability to sell vehicles and hired Ackerman & Ackerman . MDOT offered $54,000.  A jury awarded the dealership $793,000 in Just Compensation.

Buckland Van Wald Furniture:  This retail staple in downtown Detroit existed for more than 60 years at the same location. The City of Detroit filed condemnation proceedings to take this property to enlarge the CoBo Exhibition Hall. The City originally offered $11,500 to Buckland Van Wald for its property. A jury awarded $3,100,000, but the City appealed and prior to retrial, our client reached a settlement with the City for $5,000,000.