By Leaders in Law
Lawyers from the Houston-based Vinson & Elkins recently won a unique eminent domain suit brought on by the State of Texas against a privately-held joint venture.
Using the power of eminent domain, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) acquired the DiMare Fresh Produce cold storage warehouse on 3.9 acres at 1415 West Loop North. The state offered to pay only $5,775,000 for the 90,000-square-foot warehouse, which was owned by Beeson Sirota Joint Venture. The offer was rejected and TxDOT subsequently filed suit against the ownership venture, which was represented by V&E partners George Murphy and David Wall.
Houston-based Deal Sikes, a real estate valuation firm, estimated that the DiMare site, located in the highly popular Inner Loop location, was worth much more than TxDOT offered – $9.25 million.
“Cold storage warehouse facilities are limited in supply and in high demand in Houston and property values continue to increase in the Inner Loop district,” said Deal Sikes Principal Mark Sikes.
At the conclusion of the trial in July, the jury determined that Deal Sikes’ appraisal was accurate and the owner should be paid $9,250,000.
“This important case winds up a long series of eminent domain takings by TxDOT along Interstate 610,” said Matthew Deal, principal of Deal Sikes. “Our firm consulted with many northwest Houston property owners regarding TxDOT takings.”