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Eminent domain is the power of the government to claim your rightfully owned property to enable many different projects. When most people think of eminent domain, they think of residential homes being leveled to make way for large commercial developments or highways. However, homeowners are far from the only landowners who can be affected by eminent domain.
Business owners often find their commercial property—and often the business itself—jeopardized by eminent domain. For example, imagine the state of North Carolina is planning to build a large highway that must cut through a district of small, independently-owned businesses. Business owners may find themselves facing condemnation of the commercial property from which they run operations as the state exercises its eminent domain power. In such cases, a challenge of the eminent domain action is likely unrealistic, so the focus will be on how much the business owner receives in exchange for the loss of their property.
Just compensation for business owners
The government is required under the Fifth Amendment1 to provide just compensation for any property taking. “Just compensation” varies widely from case to case as the losses that a business owner will vary. Some of the ways that eminent domain can affect a business:
• Condemnation will cause a business to lose one of its largest assets.
• A business owner may have purchased the property years prior and may now have to pay a significant amount more for a comparable space.
• If a business owner owned the building outright, the company may have to take on a mortgage payment.
• If the commercial space was specifically tailored to the business type, finding another space that works may be difficult.
• If the business was in a prime location, it may have to move to an area with less customer traffic and may lose business.
• A business may have trouble transporting large industrial equipment and other supplies.
Contact an experienced condemnation lawyer to discuss your rights
If your commercial property in North Carolina or elsewhere is the subject of a condemnation claim, the future of your business could be on the line. Your first call should be to a skilled eminent domain lawyer at the law firm of Sever Storey, LLP. We offer free consultations, so please call today at 888-318-3761.
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