Morning Headlines: Another Eminent Domain Case Leaves Owner in a Lurch

The building at 1 South Broadway will be torn down to make way for a parking lot.

Photo via Google Street View

Photo via Google Street View

Yet another eminent domain case has popped up in the area, this time across the river in Camden. According to the Inquirer’s Jonathan Lai, real estate investor Milton Rubin was offered the short end of a deal by the  the Parking Authority involving the sale of his Commerce Building.

Lai reports the department offered Rubin a price significantly below the $4.5 million mark he had originally intended to sell it for.

The Parking Authority’s offer came in considerably lower. In a letter in June, the agency raised the specter of eminent domain as it offered minus $200,000 – essentially asking the estate to part with the building and pay on top of it.

The authority, Lai writes, based its number on a commissioned appraisal, which concluded “the cost of renovating the building would exceed its potential income.” In reaction to this, Rubin’s son, Steven Rubin, sued the city. However, the new appraisal and offer that followed this suit were not much better: $180,000.

After rejecting this second offer the Parking Authority was legally granted their right to eminent domain. Lai adds that Rubin has since “given up fighting to keep his property,” but awaits the court’s decision about the amount he should be compensated for by the Parking Authority.

Camden snatches site from developer; developer says eminent domain offer lowball [Inquirer]

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Signed and Sealed: Spruce Street sinkhole filled in, but ground still unstable [West Philly Local]
Five-year crime stats show big declines in Chestnut Hill [Chestnut Hill Local]