Lowball Watch — North Carolina

News reaches us from the Charlotte area of North Carolina that an eminent domain case pending in Mecklenburg County, and  involving a partial taking of some 25% of the improvements of a shopping center, just settled (two weeks before trial) for $22,500,000. Dept. of Transportation v. Independence Shopping Center. The condemnor’s offer was $16,864,000, so the settlement amount represents an increase of $5,636,000, or one-third over the condemnor’s offer.

We are told that this settlement is the largest one in the history of North Carolina.

We just got only the essential news, so we are in no position to provide any details as to what issues divided the parties, but we hope to provide those as we get them.

What is remarkable about this case (and others like it that settle for large sums over the condemnor’s offer) is that the condemnor settled instead of fighting to the bitter end, which is a sort of an admission on its part that it was trying to lowball the property owner.