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Eminent domain lawsuit against church dropped by city of Orlando

Previously we wrote about the efforts of the city of Orlando to secure land for a new the Major League Soccer stadium. Specifically the city was seeking to get the land upon which a church is currently situated. When the church would not accept the city’s offer of $4 million for the parcel, the city filed an eminent domain lawsuit. That lawsuit was filed as a result of how far apart the parties were on the desired purchase price. The church sought more than three times the amount offered by the city.

Recently however, it was announced that the eminent domain lawsuit has been dropped. According to Orlando’s mayor, the site of the project will instead be moved to the west.

There are likely multiple reasons for this change. One may have to do with the timeline to complete the project. The land dispute already delayed the opening of the stadium to the 2016 season. Another reason may be the opportunities presented by the shift in the stadium footprint. The mayor indicated that the change will not only provide development opportunities for commercial development, but housing as well. Though not clear, it is possible that the change is actually more financially advantageous to the project. 

As this development indicates construction projects do not always go as planned. Accordingly it is important that those involved be prepared to handle disputes that arise, head-on. Working with attorneys who have handled similar cases in the past is generally considered a good way to do this.

Source: Orlando Business Journal, “Downtown’s MLS stadium site to shift west, drops fight with church,” Richard Bilbao and Megan Ribbens, Aug. 4, 2014

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