A St. Louis jury recently awarded property owner Bill Simon of Alton, Illinois, $2,871,200 for the 2 acres of land he owned just north of the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis. Simon purchased the property in 1999 for $523,000 as an investment. Attorney Paul Henry explained "He bought it because the area had potential."
In 2005, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of St. Louis took the property under eminent domain. The Authority valued the land at $1.25 million, an increase over the purchase price 6 years prior. However, not the fair market value determined by Simon's appraiser who valued the land at $3.6 million.
Attorneys Robert Denlow and Paul Henry, of Denlow & Henry, St. Louis, MO represented Mr. Simon against the city in the jury trial that occurred earlier this month. Denlow and Henry argued a successful case for their client basing the value, in part, on the city's own land planning designation for the property as that of a business and commercial district.
After 5 days of testimony, the jury awarded the property owner a $2.8 million verdict plus interest for the 3 years since the property was seized. A judgment amount totaling near $3.2 million for the property owner.
Missouri Lawyers Weekly reported that the city intends to file a motion for new trial. We will follow the case as post-trial motions are filed and update this blog accordingly.
This story was reported in the Missouri Lawyers Weekly, July 21, 2008, by Angela Riley. Details of the trial and verdict were also posted July 15, 2008 in STLToday.com and discussed by Alan Ackerman in his National Eminent Domain Blog www.nationaleminentdomain.com.
Denlow & Henry, www.denlow.com, is Missouri's premier eminent domain/condemnation law firm, based in St. Louis. Denlow & Henry have represented property owners throughout Missouri and the Midwest. Robert Denlow is the Missouri Member of Owners' Counsel of America.