Eminent domain is a subject that gets me riled.
I guess the roots of fear and injustice concerning the disregard for some property owners runs deep with me. My Dad lost a prime piece of property to “progress” when I was in elementary school. The so called ”progress” involved someone else, not us.
I can’t stress how important it is for us to stay on top of this issue. Our freedom to do business as real estate investors is at stake. So when I hear about new battles taking place across the country the old fear snaps back at me like a hot tempered rattlesnake ready to strike.
One battle is going on in Nashville right now and it involves Joy Ford who owns Country International Records on Music Row verses a big Houston developer, Lionstone Group. Lionstone wants to build a $100 million office, condo and hotel complex next door to Ford’s tiny, but priceless three acres.
The small Ford is in the way and needs to be towed, according to her new large and powerful neighbors.
But there’s a new twist. The law firm that fought so valiantly in the landmark Supreme Court decision in New London Connecticut has come to her aid.
As we remember that was the infamous Kelo vs. New London, Conn case which was one of the most electrifying property rights cases in history.
“It is incredible that Nashville wants to destroy a part of its history so that a private developer can put up a generic office tower to increase its profits,” says Scott Bullock, an attorney for the Institute for Justice.
The Institute of Justice has learned a lot from past battles, namely how to fight from the legislative branch, not the judicial.
Tomorrow in Part 2 of this series, Eminent Domain Wars, we’ll show how the Institute of Justice is turning the tables by persuading lawmakers to restrict eminent domain abuses.