Indiana Commercial Property Eminent Domain Lawyer - Cohen & Malad

Business, Commercial and Industrial Property Eminent Domain

Indiana Condemnation Lawyers for Business, Commercial and Industrial Property Owners

Involuntary takings of real estate from business owners, commercial property owners and industrial property owners are quite different than residential property takings. However, they can be just as stressful. Commercial property and business owners – much like residential property owners – often go into the eminent domain and condemnation proceeding thinking that they can handle it themselves. They may believe it will save them money or that they can negotiate just as good a deal as an attorney can. But the difficulty lies in what they don’t know. Most business owners are not aware of their legal rights in an eminent domain action and they may not be aware of many of the tactics that buying agents use to obtain these properties. This puts the business owner at a distinct disadvantage in these transactions.

One way a business owner can protect their rights and work to maximize their compensation for the lost property is to hire an experienced eminent domain attorney. Cohen & Malad, LLP eminent domain attorneys have handled hundreds of eminent domain transactions for residential and business property owners and can provide you with a free case evaluation.

Eminent domain partial or full taking of commercial land

Business, commercial and industrial property owners face many of the same issues that residential landowners face in an eminent domain proceeding. The government may choose to take all or part of the property in an eminent domain action. Partial takings can often result in residue and other damages. While business owners many times believe that they should be compensated for lost or reduced profits that may result by virtue of a taking, in Indiana lost profits are not a compensable item.

Eminent domain actions may give rise to zoning and access issues

Zoning violations can be common when the government or other agency takes your property involuntarily. Violations could include setback distance, required number of parking spaces, or elimination of an access point. These are just an example of some issues that can result in damages to your commercial land and/or building(s). These types of violations, even if permitted by the governing body, may result in your commercial property being less desirable in the future, i.e. suffering damages.

A change in the access to a commercial or industrial property is an important issue for business owners. A business owner may be able to obtain compensation for the loss of access or the modification of access to the commercial property. Valuation of a commercial or industrial property that has restricted or modified access can be very complicated. Consult an attorney experienced in eminent domain for help in selecting real estate appraisers and other experts who can establish appropriate value for a property with modified access in order to ensure your rights are protected.

Impact of eminent domain on business signage

The loss or relocation of signage can also be an important issue to commercial property owners. If the government or taking agency takes any sort of sign or landmark that you own, you are entitled to compensation. Often times the government wants to pay a cost-to-cure to move the sign out of the area that it is taking. This approach is often insufficient in solving the problem as project estimates many times fail to take into consideration all costs involved with moving the signage or landmark. Signage relocation is also subject to zoning and setback requirements and can pose a whole other set of issues if not considered at the time of the offer.

Relocation for business properties taken by eminent domain

If your entire commercial property is taken by eminent domain, or even sometimes if just a portion is, you may be entitled to relocation assistance. The relocation assistance to which a business is entitled is much different than an individual landowner would receive. Relocation assistance can include moving costs, reestablishment costs, and costs for looking for a new location. Business relocation assistance can be confusing, time consuming, and burdensome for the business owner to handle. Hiring a trusted legal advisor who is well-versed in condemnation proceedings can take the burden off you and allow you to focus your energy on running your business instead of dealing with the government.

Eminent domain consideration for commercial leaseholders

Commercial leaseholders may also be entitled to compensation if the building they are leasing is taken, damaged, or otherwise affected by an eminent domain action. The damages to a leasehold interest can be complex and difficult to understand for the lessor. It is important to review the condemnation clause, if any, in your lease agreement and to consult an attorney about your rights.

Leaseholders need to know the government or taking agency may not be required to make a direct offer, and may instead work directly with the commercial landowner. For this reason it is important for leaseholders to be involved as much as possible in the eminent domain and condemnation processes.

Business, commercial, and industrial property owners facing eminent domain and condemnation proceedings can contact us to discuss their unique situation and receive a free case evaluation.