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Jury Awards $1.6 Million In Mecklenburg Condemnation Case


Written by: Matthew R. Arnold

Type of action: Condemnation

Injuries alleged: Taking of land (value of long-term ground lease)

Name of case: City of Charlotte v. 6214 South Boulevard Holdings, LLC

Court: Mecklenburg County Superior Court

Case Number: 04 CVS 11814

Tried before judge or jury: Jury

Name of judge: Hon. Timothy S. Kincaid

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $1,603,483 (plus interest and costs)

Date: April 12, 2007

Defendant’s attorneys: Matthew R. Arnold and Kenneth P. Andresen, Andresen & Associates, Charlotte

Expert: Damon C. Bidencope, MAI, Charlotte

Submitted by: Matthew R. Arnold

This case involved the taking of several parcels of land on Charlotte's South Boulevard for the city's light-rail project. The defendant, 6214 South Boulevard Holdings, LLC, owned a long-term ground lease on the subject properties.

The issue at trial was the fair market value of the long-term ground lease on the subject properties as of the date of the taking, July 1, 2004.

In condemnation cases, the defendant has the burden of proof and tries the case as the plaintiff in the order of presenting evidence first and making opening and closing arguments.

Defendant presented two opinions as to value: One from the principal of 6214 South Boulevard Holdings, LLC, and the other from Damon C. Bidencope, MAI, of Bidencope & Associates in Charlotte.

After three and a half days of trial, the jury deliberated and rendered a verdict in the exact amount of Bidencope's opinion of value based on a cash-flow analysis.

This case was related to an inverse condemnation opinion issued in 2006. (North Carolina Lawyers Weekly No. 06-16-0834, 4 pages).

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