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State to pay $6.6M after shops’ parking squeezed 

The owners of a shopping center in Wilmington have reached a $6.6 million settlement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation after a dispute over how easements and other issues would impact parking, the landowners’ attorneys report. 

George Autry Jr., Stephanie Autry, and Jeremy Hopkins of Cranfill Sumner in Raleigh report that the NCDOT took rights of way and numerous temporary and permanent easements from a large Food Lion-anchored shopping center located in the Ogden neighborhood in Wilmington. Access was restricted as the result of the taking of right of way and permanent easements, so that after the taking, delivery vehicles had to access the rear of the shopping center through the main access points and parking lots. There was also a loss of parking, and several tenants terminated their leases or sought concessions because of the taking.

Stephanie Autry

George Autry

“Your national tenants are not going to remain and operate in a place where their operation is uncertain or at risk or where they have insufficient parking,” Hopkins said. “Parking and access are the lifeblood to those properties.” 

The parties disagreed as to the value of the shopping center before the taking, with the DOT’s appraiser saying the value of the shopping center was significantly diminished due to physical depreciation. The DOT initially deposited just $2,823,100, but after negotiations agreed to pay an additional $3,776,900, for a total settlement of $6,600,000, and the property owner agreed to dismiss its Map Act case.

Hopkins

SETTLEMENT REPORT – EMINENT DOMAIN  

Amount: $6.6 million 

Injuries alleged: Loss of rights of way and temporary and permanent easements 

Case name: North Carolina Department of Transportation v. ZP173 

Court: New Hanover County Circuit Court 

Case No.: 17-CVS-02497 

Attorneys for landowner: George Autry Jr., Stephanie Autry, and Jeremy Hopkins of Cranfill Sumner in Raleigh 

 


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