As the population of our country grows nationwide, communities are building roads and bridges, and expanding their airports, in order to accommodate the population boom. When a property is deemed by a government to be instrumental to a transportation infrastructure project, a government often uses eminent domain to acquire the property. Property owners deserve fair compensation for their land, but may settle for underwhelming financial compensation without strong legal representation. Ackerman & Ackerman assures you, that regardless of the size of your claim, property owners receive hard-charging legal representation with decades of successful outcomes.
Flint Bishop Airport: The Michigan Department of Transportation placed a large bridge in front of a vacant parcel owned by a trucking company adjacent to the Flint Bishop Airport. The bridge severely limited access to the property. The company had no direct access, because of the bridge, to the State highway and became landlocked.
Prior to the acquisition, the trucking company had the potential to construct direct access to the airport, which would have been a very valuable opportunity for the company.
The airport authority appraiser did not recognize the special adaptability of the land and appraised the whole property for $300,000. For the taking of three of the ten acres, the appraiser offered $90,000.
The trucking company owner retained Ackerman & Ackerman. A jury entered an award for the property owner of $900,000 for the loss of access to the state roadway.
Troy, Michigan Car Wash: The City of Troy acquired a parcel of frontage road to widen Rochester Road, but failed to adequately compensate the property owner for the loss of their property. The City originally offered compensation of $88,000.00 for the property.
The acquisition threatened to change business operations for our client, a popular, full-service car wash in the city. The City wanted to take land from the car wash, which was used as its prime drying area for vehicles. The City’s appraisal of the property failed to account for the value of the drying area to the carwash.
Many car washes operate with significant frontage, because the space enables the car wash to have a place for cars to dry after being washed. Without the drying space, the car wash argued it would need to slow down its operations, decreasing the number of cars washed from 150 to 90 per hour. In addition to this obvious blow to revenue, customers would be inclined to take business elsewhere to avoid the long lines.
The City paid more than $1,300,000 to settle the case.
Stricker Paint Manufacturing: The Oakland County Michigan Road Commission wanted to build a new bridge on Novi Road over a railroad. Our client argued that the bridge would impact their business, because the bridge compromised parking at their manufacturing facility.
The Commission initially offered a partial payment for a small parcel of the paint manufacturing facility. During negotiations with the Road Commission, our firm argued that the construction of a bridge interfered with the survival of the paint company, and so a total taking of the property was required. The Road Commission initially offered $420,000 for the property. A settlement was reached at $1,150,000.
Amusement Park and Restaurant Sterling Heights, Michigan: When the Michigan Department of Transportation decided it needed to widen a road upon one of the better-known amusement park and restaurant facilities in Metro Detroit, it offered $800,000 for the acquisition of the frontage. Ackerman & Ackerman argued that the widening of the road interfered with the operations of the facility. The case was settled for $4,200,000, and the owner demolished its building and built a replacement further away from the new roadway.