Mr. Brigham represented Mr. Esteban “Steve” Gonzalez in the taking of his 5 acre industrial property on General Avenue by the FDOT for a construction yard and stormwater pond required for the Chaffee Road Interchange on I-10. Mr. Gonzalez actually owned a construction business that often served as a subcontractor on road building projects digging stormwater ponds.
When contacted by the FDOT inquiring whether a voluntary purchase of his property was possible, Mr. Gonzalez informed them that he already had approval to build a small-scale industrial condominium on his property. Mr. Gonzalez had identified other properties which developed small office warehouse units paired with adjacent outdoor storage which had enjoyed great success in the NE Florida market. As the property immediately next door was listed for sale, Mr. Gonzalez asked the FDOT to not interrupt his project but acquire the land it needed from a willing seller next door. FDOT ignored his request and made and initial offer of $307,950 and followed with the filing of an eminent domain lawsuit.
Mr. Brigham was able to settle the case after mediation, on the eve of trial, for $1,100,000 by using a development approach to support the economic feasibility of the owner’s project combined with land sales of the other similar projects.