A taking of your commercial property by the government may have a significant impact on your investment—and can affect your bottom line. The type of taking also impacts business operations and can create a situation where you will have to correct zoning or municipal code non-compliance by relocating signage, landscaping, parking, or in extreme cases even a portion of your building.
Alternatively, you may simply lose these important features of your commercial property, which will very likely decrease its overall value. While the law does not require the government to pay you or your tenants for any loss in revenue, it is required to pay for the costs to cure these issues that arise from a partial taking or the imposition of an easement.
If you are a business owner and the entirety of your property or your leased space has been condemned and taken for public use, or you have received notice of an impending condemnation proceeding, you have important decisions to make.
The reality is that a business is dependent on the location from which it operates, and the two are not easily separated. However, the law treats them separately. The theory is that your real property may be condemned, but your business may still operate from a new location. Will you be able to continue the business if you move? If so, how will you relocate? What will you relocate? Will the government pay to reconnect your equipment to utilities, or will it just move your personal property? Where will you find suitable replacement property? How will you reestablish your business? How will the new space accommodate the needs of your business? The Uniform Relocation Act provides protections to displaced businesses to address most of these issues.
If facing these questions, seek the guidance of an experienced eminent domain attorney at the Law Office of Bryan P. Lynch, P.C. We have helped numerous businesses successfully navigate the difficulties of the relocation process. Read below to learn of just some of the elements involved with a business relocation due to the condemnation of a property.
The Uniform Relocation Act
The federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (URA) is designed to compensate individuals and businesses for expenses associated with the relocation and re-establishment of a business or homeowner’s personal property when displaced from a property. The URA directs the government to provide certain payments, benefits, and services to parties who have been forced to relocate as a result of a condemnation proceeding. The primary purpose of the URA is to minimize the burden placed upon property and business owners so they do not suffer disproportionately compared to the public at large.
In 2007, the State of Illinois made the URA binding on condemning bodies in most circumstances. Whether your property (owned or leased) has been taken as a result of the exercise of federal, state or local eminent domain powers, we will help you ensure that the government meets its statutory obligations under the URA.
Assistance With a Range of Expenses
Bryan P. Lynch, an experienced condemnation attorney, will assist commercial property owners and commercial tenants in identifying and obtaining the benefits to which they are entitled under the URA. We help our clients evaluate and prepare their claims, including any leasehold interests they may have related to the condemnation. From the preparation, submission, presentation and negotiation of the benefit claims, we will be your advocate at every step, helping to ensure that all of your URA interests are protected. And where challenging the relocation award is necessary, we are more than prepared to appeal your case.
We will help you recover the fair relocation benefits and re-establishment expenses incurred from the condemnation, including but not limited to:
- Storage of business/personal property up to 12 months
- Expenses for the disconnection, disassembly, loading, and transporting of a business’ office, inventory, equipment, and machinery
- Expenses for the unloading, reassembly, reconnection, and reinstallation of a business’ office, equipment, and machinery at the new location
- Utility extension and distribution at the new location
- Certain transfer taxes on the purchase of replacement property
- Certain recording fees and closing costs
- Utility hookup charges
- Business and license fees
If your business is facing a relocation situation, seek the guidance of an experienced eminent domain attorney, one who has helped numerous businesses successfully navigate the difficulties of the URA process.
Business Transition Matters
When you hire us to protect your interests in an eminent domain proceeding in Illinois, we help address business continuity concerns. First, we will work closely with you to help evaluate the issues associated with transitioning your business operations, always keeping your best interests in mind. We will provide sound legal guidance on your options regarding the transition to a replacement facility.
When continuing operations, we will help with reviewing and drafting the necessary business documentation, whether to successfully close on the purchase or leasing of a new facility or facilitate any potential merger and acquisition needs. We are here to advise you at every step of the transition to a new facility, helping you secure just compensation for the taking, as well as relocation benefits for the move. If necessary, we can also assist you with the sale or disposition of assets, inventory, and book of business by drafting the necessary contracts, bills of sale or purchase agreements.
If you opt not to continue business, we will assist you with the sale of your existing assets and secure related compensation from the government where appropriate.