The City of Birmingham, Alabama’s failure to properly communicate with a property owner will create havoc for a downtown baseball stadium project. Bill Mudd, owner of one of two remaining parcels needed for the stadium, has repeatedly asked the city to find a way to incorporate the building into the project. The city has refused to consider this proposal and it has ignored Mr. Mudd’s request for negotiation.
A key part of the condemnation process is that government officials fully and fairly communicate to the basics to an owner: the interest they want to acquire; the value they place on this interest; and how and when they plan to acquire it. Eminent domain is a tough process. If the acquiring agency ignores a property owner’s reasonable request to come to the negotiating table, as Birmingham has done to Mr. Mudd, hostility will run rampant on both sides. This will lead to project delays and increased litigation costs to the owner and the condemning authority. When government gets it wrong, everybody loses.
The owner of one of the two remaining parcels needed to for the nearly $60 million baseball stadium project downtown says he doesn't want to sell and has been virtually ignored by the city.
Bill Mudd, the majority owner of the First Avenue South property where B&A Warehouse is located, wants the city to abandon plans to acquire his building and instead incorporate the century-old building into the design.
"The city has not made a single proposal, nor floated a single idea or concept to the people who lease the building or lease the facility," Mudd told The Birmingham News in an interview this afternoon. "I don't know how they're supposed to relocate. All they do is threaten eminent domain."
Mudd said he had one conversation with Bell and the mayor promissed to call him back, but has not.
In addition, Mudd said he has had little information from city officials and said the information he had received was conflicting. Most of his information has come from newspaper reports, he said.
Mudd in the interview, said B&A would complement the current plans and should not be destroyed.