A landowner in Charlotte has reached a $2.825 million settlement with the city of Charlotte after it took 2.2 acres of land in one of the city’s trendiest and fastest-growing neighborhoods to build a new fire station, his attorneys report. Tommy Odom and David Murray of The Odom Firm in Charlotte report that the city condemned property owned by Robert Alexander for a new fire station near the South End district, immediately south of the 277 inner beltway around center city Charlotte. When the city took possession of Alexander’s land, it was being used for a three-bay car wash and car cleaning business, Odom said. The city initially deposited $820,000 as just compensation for the property after concluding that the highest and best use of the land was for industrial use. But using a team of land use and valuation experts, Alexander and his attorneys showed that the best use for the property in the rapidly-changing area would be for use as a transit-oriented development district (TODD) use or mixed use development district (MUDD) that could have allowed for a density of about 172 units on the property. Two land use and zoning experts, Walter Fields and Lee McLaren, “had solid opinions on the high likelihood (the land) could have been rezoned to either use, “and a city spreadsheet showing no TODD or MUDD rezoning had been denied by the city council in the last two years,” Odom said. “We developed the highest and best use analysis just as if Mr. Alexander was going to market the property for sale,” Odom said. “The density study drawings by Tom Wright, the architect, were key in being able to visualize what could have been developed. This is the same information that buyers and sellers use in the market.” The case was settled at mediation on Jan. 28, 2019, Odom said.
Amount: $2.825 million
Injuries alleged: Taking of a 2.2-acre property in the South End district of Charlotte used for a three-bay car wash and car cleaning business
Case name: City of Charlotte v. Robert Alexander
Court: Mecklenburg County Superior Court
Case number: 18 CVS 4799
Date of settlement: Jan. 28, 2019
Most helpful experts: Tom Wright (architect); Walter Fields and Lee McLaren (land use and zoning); Deborah Haskell, Rocky Shiplett and Kevin Shiplett (appraisers); and Emma Littlejohn (real estate broker)
Attorneys for defendant: Tommy Odom and David Murray of
The Odom Firm in Charlotte
Attorney for plaintiff: Benjamin Sullivan for the City of Charlotte
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