Sample Eminent Domain Assignments 

Loss of Parking & Denial of Access Damage - Retail Store

Partial taking for light rail project permanently eliminated half of parking spaces near store entrance while temporarily eliminating access to the property from the primary road entrance and use of all of the parking spaces near the storefront  during the period of construction resulting in significant damages. 

Convenience Store - Severance Damage & Uneconomic Remnant

The planned realignment of a street by the county government to create a new signalized intersection bisected the property of an existing convenience store that resulted in severance damage and the creation of an uneconomic remnant as a result of its taking by eminent domain.

Service Garage - Partial Taking with Damages

A minor partial taking for the creation of a traffic circle from a corner parcel improved with a service garage and historic inn that had extensive frontage at a major rural crossroads intersection resulted in a denial of access to eastbound traffic due to the installation of a continuous curb, the creation of a single curb cut access point with a barrier to preclude left turn access, and a pinch point that precluded deliveries to the service garage by trucks above a certain size, collectively resulting in extensive damages.

Veterinary Hospital - Proximity Damage - Relocated Beltway On-Ramp

Relocation of a  Beltway on-ramp formerly located across the street from the the subject property's main entrance to a position abutting the subject property after construction that resulted in a significant loss of visibility as well as denial of access to the property from the primary road.  The corresponding traffic noise and vibration associated with the accelerating traffic on the ramp structure that was constructed within 20 feet of the subject building resulted in proximity and other damages to this property.  

Convenience Store/Development Tract - Part Take with Damages 

Partial taking  from  convenience store which,  when considered in tandem with an adjoining tract under common ownership, formed a larger parcel, resulting in a change in highest and best after the taking, with  damages to the interim convenience store use resulting from denial of access and loss of parking spaces serving the convenience store.  

Value of Condominium Common Elements 

Tall Trees Residential Condominium- Essex, Maryland


Hentschel was retained by the Baltimore County government in conjunction with a condemnation action to  value the common elements of a 500 unit former garden apartment complex that had been converted to a residential condominium. Each building within the complex contained 8 apartment units and was owned by a separate investor who owned an undivided interest in the common elements which had to be condemned separately.

Business Relocation Assistance & Advice in Eminent Domain 

When a business has its real property taken by a government agency for a public project under eminent domain and is displaced as a result of the taking, compensation typically takes two forms - an acquisition price paid to acquire land and buildings + relocation assistance benefits. Likewise, business tenant occupants of a property taken under eminent domain are also entitled to receive relocation assistance benefits.  Assessing the total compensation package offered by the government requires a keen understanding of the interrelationship between the real property valuation methods employed, and the rules governing entitlement to the various forms of relocation assistance benefits to be received. How an element of real or personal property is characterized and/or how the inventory of personal property is compiled and counted can result in a material and substantial difference in the compensation to be received. 

Our extensive eminent domain experience, not only in real property valuation, but also property acquisition, and the relocation assistance entitlement process, from both the public and private sector perspectives, provides our clients with a substantial advantage and benefit when dealing with the arcane rules and procedures of government agencies in order to optimize the total compensation to be received from all sources as illustrated by the following examples of our former clients. 

Hammerjacks Concert Hall & Night Club

The government's real estate appraisal was based on  comparable sales of warehouse structures. Although similar in style and design,  the comparable sale properties were acquired for use as warehouses which did not require the extensive plumbing systems and fixtures to create and support the numerous restroom facilities required for operation of a concert hall/niteclub, nor the power capacity for the theatrical sound and lighting systems. While the government's initial offer of relocation assistance included compensation for lighting, sound, and  beverage distribution systems, Hentschel pointed out that neither the real estate acquisition price nor the relocation assistance offer had recognized and included any amount associated with the requisite  capacity to support those systems for which the owner was entitled to receive additional  compensation.

Greenbaum Kitchens Showroom 

Greenbaum Kitchens showroom facility was being acquired by eminent domain as part of  stadium parking lot expansion project. A historic  cupola which Greenbaum had previously procured and had transported by helicopter from another building, sat atop the condemned  structure. The cupola had served as the company's logo in all of its marketing and was visible at eye level to the heavy daily traffic exiting the CBD via the abutting elevated interstate highway.  Hentschel observed that the cupola was physically attached to the building in a manner that would allow its ready removal and transport to another location. Hentschel successfully argued that by virtue of its method of attachment, the cupola was neither a fixture nor part of the real estate, but rather was personal property that was entitled to additional separate compensation under the Relocation Assistance rules which substantially increased compensation to the owner.