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Use Value Estimate on the Downtown Denver Block in Response to Condemnation Action
Client: Baker & Hostetler
dashed line separator Baker & Hostetler, representing a client owning a block of land in downtown Denver, engaged Gruen Gruen + Associates (GG+A) to conduct a series of market and economic evaluations to assist them in responding to a condemnation by the Denver Urban Renewal Agency of their client's property. The client brought an action requesting that his property not be taken by the City and objecting to the price that had been set by the City's appraisers. GG+A took a two-pronged approach. A series of market studies were conducted and utilized to estimate the value of the block as a site for uses found to be feasible. One feasible set of uses that included a hotel were found to suggest a land value that was significantly in excess of the price the Denver Urban Renewal Agency (DURA) had offered to pay for the site. The market feasible use postulated by GG+A was shown to conform to all City planning and land use regulations.

The second approach taken by GG+A was to conduct a thorough evaluation of the rather complex disposition and development agreement between DURA and the owner of an adjoining block. The adjoining block was identical in size to that of Baker & Hostetler's client. The adjoining block had been taken by the City as a part of an agreement that made the former owner the master developer of a major redevelopment project that would encompass both blocks. The agreement between DURA and the adjoining property owner was analyzed with a series of proformas in order to estimate the net value paid the adjoining property owner for his land as a result of the agreement between that property owner and DURA. The estimated value was also significantly in excess of what had been offered to Baker & Hostetler's client.

GG+A met with other members of the litigation support team and the attorneys, and provided market information to the appraisers on that team. An affidavit was prepared and Dr. Claude Gruen of GG+A deposed by attorneys for DURA.

Dr. Gruen was prepared to testify as an expert in the case but the day before the trial was to begin DURA requested and received a further delay. The case was eventually settled with DURA withdrawing condemnation of the site, agreeing not to begin any new condemnation proceedings for a period of seven years and paying $2 million to Baker & Hostetler's client.




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