Sometimes You Have to Pay Fair-Market Value


The Washington Post, like the New York Times, is an active supporter of eminent domain for purposes of economic development.

The Post cries about $28,000,000 being spent to buy the Skyland Shopping Center land for redevelopment. What did it expect? Fair-market value is sometimes a requirement, even for the District of Columbia.

Located at the intersection of Good Hope Road, Naylor Road and Alabama Avenue in Southeast, Skyland is one of the only places in the area to pick up a prescription or grab a bite to eat. But its lackluster offerings have pushed the city government to extraordinary lengths to upgrade it.

According to a tally by the attorney general’s office, D.C. has issued $28 million in payments to get the original businesses on the site — among them a liquor store, a discount mart and a beauty supply store — to leave.

To remove business owners that did not want to sell, the city used eminent domain to force them out, leading to a dozen court cases beginning in 2005. This cost the city more than another $1 million in outside legal expenses and the use of more than 10,000 city attorney hours.

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