Monday, August 11, 2008

Nashville Showdown Over Eminent Domain Avoided

It looks like a showdown over eminent domain in Nashville has been avoided and the Lionstone Development will go forward and Joy Ford will get to keep her property. Under a new proposal by Metro Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) and Houston-based developer The Lionstone Group, Lionstone would purchase a portion of the parking lot that surrounds Ms Ford’s office. Ford would be able to continue operating Country International Records at its current location.

Previously, MDHA had deemed the property “blighted” and was intending to take the property by eminent domain condemnation. The neat but simple brick building housing County International Records is located in the middle of a redevelopment district. MDHA had sought to acquire the Ford’s property on behalf of the developer who is planning a $70 million office tower on the adjacent property. Previously MDHA had taken the position that the development could not occur unless Ms Ford’s property was acquired. Ms Ford did not want to sell, so the city was going to use the power of eminent domain to take her property.

The Tennessean had editorialized against the proposed condemnation and talk show callers and Internet chatters had condemned the condemnation. Several Metro Council members said they were considering proposing legislation that would block the eminent domain action.

It looks like MDHA saw they were likely to lose and backed down, and what do you know? The development can occur without using the iron fist of government to take someone’s property.

To read more about this case, click the label “Joy Ford” in the sidebar to the left.

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