Landowners Reach $7 Million Just Compensation Settlement with Sandy Springs in Eminent Domain Case

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Baker Donelson eminent domain attorney, Charles Ruffin, the Georgia representative of Owners’ Counsel of America, recently negotiated a $7 million settlement for private property taken by the City of Sandy Springs for the City Center project.

Using the power of eminent domain the City of Sandy Springs acquired property owned by Flambeau Realty, Inc. and Irma Strauss Realty Corp. for the new City Center project.

Using the power of eminent domain the City of Sandy Springs acquired property owned by Flambeau Realty, Inc. and Irma Strauss Realty Corp. for the new City Center project.

Although the settlement offer was below their expert’s opinion of value, Flambeau and Irma Strauss believe the settlement justly compensates them for the property.

Landowners Flambeau Realty, Inc. and Irma Strauss Realty Corp. have agreed to a $7 million settlement with the City of Sandy Springs for the taking of their property by eminent domain, said the companies’ condemnation lawyer, Charles L. Ruffin, a shareholder with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC.

Speaking on behalf of his client, Ruffin indicated that the owners agreed to the $7 million settlement believing that the amount was a fair settlement for the acquisition of their 2.39-acre parcel for the City Center project. “Although the settlement offer was below their expert’s opinion of value, Flambeau and Irma Strauss believe the settlement justly compensates them for the property.”

The commercial property at the center of this eminent domain case was acquired by the City of Sandy Springs for the purpose of constructing new city hall offices and park facilities in conjunction with the City Center project. Flambeau and Irma Strauss owned 2.39 acres improved with a 30,000 square foot retail building originally developed for a grocery chain and occupied by a Goodwill retail store. The owners’ expert appraiser valued the property and building between $8 and $10 million. The appraiser for the City of Sandy Springs assessed the property at $3.5 million.

“Our clients feel that the settlement reached with the City is reasonable in light of all circumstances,” explained Ruffin, who is also the Georgia member of Owners’ Counsel of America.

The case is City of Sandy Springs, Georgia, Condemnor, v. 2.97 Acres, more or less, being commonly known as 237 Johnson Ferry Road, Sandy Springs, Georgia and Flambeau Realty, Inc., et al., Condemnees, Civil Action No. 2015CV255755, in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia.

About Charles L. Ruffin:

Charles L. Ruffin is a shareholder in the Atlanta and Macon offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. His extensive career spans more than three decades of law practice and includes a variety of litigation experience. He currently concentrates his practice on representing individual and corporate landowners in condemnation, inverse condemnation and property rights litigation throughout Georgia. He is the Founding Chairman of the Eminent Domain Section of the State Bar of Georgia, the Immediate-past President of the State Bar of Georgia and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He is the Georgia Member of the Owners’ Counsel of America and serves as a Fellow to the American Bar Foundation and the Georgia Bar Foundation.

About Owners' Counsel of America:

The Owners’ Counsel of America is a nationwide network of experienced eminent domain attorneys dedicated to protecting the rights of private property owners large and small, locally and nationally, and to advancing the cause of property rights. The lawyers affiliated with OCA are in private practice in nearly every state and represent private landowners against federal, state, and local governments, utilities, transportation and redevelopment authorities and other entities that may be armed with eminent domain power. For more information or to locate a condemnation lawyer in your state, please visit http://www.ownerscounsel.com.

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Catherine Newman
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