Skip to comments.Eminent domain struggle over bike shop
Posted on 06/06/2005 7:22:22 PM PDT by Land_of_Lincoln_John
June 6, 2005 One man's battle to save his bicycle shop may rest with the United States Supreme Court.
The city of Chicago wants to use the power of eminent domain to take the property for a condo development. The bike shop owner calls that an abuse of power.
Eminent domain gives a city the power to take private land -- for a fair price -- so long as the deal benefits the public.
A Connecticut case awaiting an important ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is mirrored by many eminent domain cases across the country including the fight over a Jefferson Park bike shop.
They all ask the question, "when is it proper for a public body to take private land for what will be private use?" Don Zordani is a former bicycle racing champion who has made his living selling bikes. Nearly 35 years ago, he bought an old Jewell store in Jefferson Park and turned it into a shop that has had -- over the years -- a sizable clientele.
The city wants to take the bike shop and surrounding properties and allow a private developer to build a seven story condominium tower.
Zordani sees that as an abuse of the city's power to condemn.
"This is not something for the city or the park district, or a school. it would just be for a private developer to make the lot of profit," said Don Zordani.
"I'd like to see some type of development there to make the community proud rather than the eyesore around those abandoned stores," said 45th Ward Ald. Pat Levar.
The city argues that the bike shop and surrounding properties are "blighted", and that building a condo tower with retail shops here would create jobs, improve the tax base and neighborhood appearance. All that, the city argues, would serve the public interest and therefore satisfy the law.
But Zordani says when this process began in the late 90's, his building had not been declared blighted, and the developer who desires his property now was investing heavily in the neighborhood.
"He built a nine-story office building he put in a blighted area," Zordani said.
"We don't think this property's blighted and if it is, then there's not a piece of property anywhere that isn't at risk of being condemned by the city," said Joe Cainkar, attorney for Zordani.
Don Zordani acknowledges that he would sell for the right price. Everybody, he says, has a number.
The developer who wants to put up the condo, Demetrius Kozonis says Zordani's number is way out of whack -- several million dollars too high -- that they've offered to keep the bike shop in the neighborhood, but that Zordani is stubborn and unreasonable.
The bike shop
And I would like to see something more productive where your house is, you f*icking facist.
I personally think condos are of a much greater value to society than a bike shop ever can be
Plus, it looks as if letters are missing from the building
Bzzzt! I'm sorry, but that's the wrong answer. Your lovely parting gift is this copy of the US Constitution with the 5th amendment highlighted. Private property can be purchased by the government for "public use", not if it merely "benefits the public".
The New London case should settle this type of thing.
I can't imagine the government taking property so a private developer can profit---I don't care how crappy the property is.
What a pig that local so called "representative of the people" is! What he should have said is " I'd love to make some extra property taxes so I can run again and again and keep my job as a whore for any developer that wants to buy me". Now that would be honest.
This is a crucial ruling from the Supremes and they better get this one right. OUr whole country's right of private property rests on this case. I hope the American people WAKE UP!
The sad thing is that I can. The Supreme Court wouldn't recognize the Constitution if they were hit with it. Likewise the Congress and the President.
I couldn't have imagined the McCain-Feingold incumbent protection act passing, being signed or upheld by the courts. Yet all three happened.
Plus, it looks as if letters are missing from the building
Hey, why should he fix it, since Ald. Levar is thretening to snatch the store from the owner and the land under it. Perhaps the bike shop owner is asking too much. Then the developer can find another piece of land to build his condos.
Instead, the developer, Demetrius Kozonis, runs to Ald. Levar, so he can get, at least in my opionion "a fair price" from the bike shop owner. This is absurd, the Alderman is using the power of municipal government to push around a small businessman.
The bike shop owner has something the developer wants. If Kozonis wants it badly enough, pay for it, don't drag the city into it.
You'd be surprised
I'm in the real estate industry (not selling tract houses either) so, you have to deal with these issues all the time
There is alot of property that is currently rundown, but which has potential.
The sign says "Sportif Importer Ltd". The S could use a little paint, but arguing that this makes the building blighted would be like saying that your house number looks a little scruffy, so your house should be confiscated, torn down and turned over to a sports team to build a new stadium with your tax money.
If you need to "raise more tax revenue", then you have too da#n much government!
Look, I happen to be in the real estate/development industry, and the truth is, some of these people never budge.
I was involved in a now defunct project, we wanted to acquire some worthless swampland, because we had this vision of transforming it into a major condo complex. I personally was gonna net 1.3 mil off the project, but we were negotiating with the guy. His property all together, worth no more than 90 grand. But we got all the way up to 750 grand, that was the final offer, and he still kept stonewalling, giving us some stuff about how this had been his dream.
In the end, we withdrew our offer and canceled the project.
The point I'm trying to make here is, there's no reasoning with some people, we were willing to give this guy 8 times the market value, and he still wouldn't budge because of his property's sentimental value
People are not always reasonable in these kinds of matters.
If he has a sentimental value and the property is worth it to him, let him keep it. its his, he paid for, and if he doesnt want to give it up, he doesnt have to
You are missing the point completely. The only reason you are making ANY money in real estate is because in this country we have PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS ! It is the constitution that has given you the right to buy and sell property! Eminnant Domain is the basis of that. The only ...ONLY...way our constitution allows for the Government to TAKE LAND BY THREAT OF GUNS (ie the Government) is for the public good...not YOUR good.
And I'm personally amazed you're still around.
A comment like this isn't even worthy of a response.
Thank you for reminding everyone of this.
I can remember when public domain was something elected officials would never use, because it was a sure fire way to get unelected by people who value their property rights. I have attended many public meetings in the past where eminent domain was discussed for purposes of expanding the highways in the Central Valley of CA. No one EVER felt good about taking away someone elses property even though there was a clear public need for transportation improvements.
To stay clear of eminent domain debates, public officials now create redevelopemnt zones. They unConstitutionally give authority to the redevelopment council to apply eminent domain and they use "blight" as the reason for doing this. The American people have allowed a Pandoras box to open in the realm of property rights by not requiring elected officials to follow the Constitution, and our society is poorer for it.
But nowadays, the idea of private property and valuing the property rights of others seems to lost. Why aren't children in schools taught to value private property and individual rights? How is it that the idea there is such a thing as group rights with respect to private property come into being?
I bought a bike there years ago. The place is definitely not "blighted". This is a land grab pure and simple.
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