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CALIFORNIA EMINENT DOMAIN LAW BLOG

Oxnard’s Shopping Center Closer to Redevelopment, 1/25/11

By A.J. Hazarabedian

In July of last year we wrote about the Carriage Square shopping center in Oxnard and the center’s owners’ desire to redevelop the property.  At the time, a few tenants were holding out, requesting to be part of the redeveloped center.

Last week, the Ventura County Star reported that the Oxnard Redevelopment Agency was “close to clearing out the last holdout tenant” in order for the developer to revamp the center and bring in a new, larger tenant: Lowes.

The article, “Old Oxnard shopping center almost cleared out for new project,” indicates that the “holdout tenant,” O’Reilly Auto Parts, agreed to move out by January 31st for $39,000.  This deal terminated their two year lease “which had very favorable terms, according to court documents.”

The City’s Community Development Director, Curtis Cannon, added that the City and developer are trying to find a replacement location for the auto parts store.

The new Lowes is planned to open in early 2012.

Eminent Domain Looming in Glendale, 1/20/11

By A.J. Hazarabedian

Developer Rick Caruso is closing in on the remaining properties he desires to expand the Americana at Brand.  The Glendale News Press announced today that Henry David, owner of the vacant brick building at the edge of the mall, agreed to sell his 7,500 square foot property to the developer.

Caruso, who also developed The Grove, plans to expand his newest development in Glendale and has the support of the City’s Redevelopment Agency.  In December, the Agency gave Henry David and the owner of the Golden Key Motel, Ray Patel, two choices: negotiate with Caruso on a sale price, or submit a proposal to develop the property.  If neither choice is made by January 27, 2011, the Agency has threatened to use eminent domain.  Now that Henry David has agreed to sell his property, the focus has moved to Mr. Patel.

Today’s Glendale News Press, “Caruso buys vacant building next to Americana,” quotes Caruso who thanks Henry David “for his professionalism and cooperation through this process” and says he “hope[s] to enter into a constructive dialogue with Mr. Patel to complete [the] acquisition plan in the very near future.”

Previous news article have indicated that Ray Patel has been offered $6 million by Caruso to purchase the Golden Key Motel.  Thus far, no agreement has been reached.

January 27th is right around the corner.  Stay  tuned.

California Farmers Fear High-Speed Rail, 1/17/11

By A.J. Hazarabedian

California farmers are once again voicing their concerns about the potential high-speed rail project which has been a hot topic recently.  A route has yet to be determined, but one of the alternatives could displace 1,900 acres of property – of which 1,460 acres is farmland.

This morning’s Sacramento Bee featured an article, “Path of high-speed rail worries California farmers,” where both the farmers and the rail authority gave their arguments for and against the project.  Some of the farmers feel they are not being heard and that the rail authority is not giving them enough answers.  The authority’s deputy executive director, Jeff Barker, recognizes their fears however, and states “the authority cannot provide more specific answers until environmental reviews are completed on the route options.”  This February a draft environmental document is expected, which should discuss alternatives and provide some explanations of the plans.

The article explains the fears of the farmers.  It indicates that not only will their crops be disrupted, but they will have more challenges getting around, as the speed of the proposed train will prevent at-grade crossings.  This would mean the farmers would have to rely on new undercrossings or overpasses which may add inconvenience.

As an eminent domain attorney, I am interested in the issue of just compensation.  With farmers, taking land often means taking crops.  Valuing these crops and the loss of future business could be tricky.  The article briefly mentions the issue of compensation, addressing farmers concerns about whether they’ll be compensated only for the value of the land acquired, or “for future lost income from permanent crops like grapes, nuts or fruit crops.”  This particular issue is a prime example of why hiring an experienced eminent domain attorney is so important.  Eminent domain is an unusual area of the law and when dealing with your property and/or business, you want someone representing you who has extensive knowledge of the specific rules of eminent domain law.

COPYRIGHT © 2010 Arthur J. Hazarabedian, Esq.