The City of Laguna Woods had been leasing the building it used for City Hall on El Toro Road for a number of years. In 2005, the City -- apparently tired of leasing the space -- decided to acquire the property by using its power of eminent domain. After proceeding to trial, a jury determined this week that the fair market value the City is required to pay for the building was $6.43 million -- $2.78 million more than the City had initially offered.
According to an Orange County Register article, "Laguna Woods must pay $6.4 million to take City Hall," the issues that resulted in the valuation spread between the building's owner, Raintree Realty, and the City, included (1) whether the property decreased in value as a result of the City's taking over the site, and (2) the value of a parking lot easement the City was acquiring as part of the eminent domain action.
Ultimately, the City will be forced to pay nearly $3 million more than it thought for for the property, plus interest. The City has stated that the proceeds will come from its reserve funds.
Brad Kuhn, Chair of Nossaman's Eminent Domain & Valuation Group, guides private and public sector clients through complex real estate development and infrastructure projects – particularly with eminent domain/inverse ...
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