As Reported by the SB SUN Council OKs eminent domain in shopping center deal
Stephen Wall, Staff Writer
Despite protests from several residents, the City Council on Thursday night took the first step toward using eminent domain to acquire two properties needed to build a 248,000-square-foot shopping center on Barton Road.
The council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, agreed to offer "just compensation'' to homeowner Jo Stringfield and businessman Ali Yasin.
Both own property on Barton Road, where a shopping center anchored by a Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse and Stater Bros. supermarket is proposed.
Stringfield will be offered $760,000 for her 1.9-acre property, and Yasin will be offered $520,000 for his custom auto accessory shop.
But council members stressed they don't intend to use eminent domain to force the owners to sell their properties.
"We don't want to go down the eminent domain road,'' Councilwoman Lee Ann Garcia said.
Instead, they instructed City Manager Tom Schwab to negotiate with the property owners to reach an amicable solution so eminent domain wouldn't be necessary.
Developer Dennis D. Jacobsen Family Holdings LLC has bought or is under contract to purchase 12 of the 14 parcels needed for the project on Barton Road between Canal and Michigan streets, Schwab said.
But Jacobsen has been unable to come to an agreement with Stringfield and Yasin on their properties, forcing the city to assist in the purchase, Schwab said.
Hold Out Jo - You have the last piece to the Monopoly. Your property is not comparable to the others - It is prime land and they know it.