City of Fremont to Hold Hearing on Resolution of Necessity for Potential Eminent Domain

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According to an article in the Mercury News, Fremont may use eminent domain process to buy land needed for proposed downtown, the City of Fremont's City Council will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday to consider the adoption of a resolution of necessity to acquire a property for the Capitol Avenue Extension Project.  The impacted property is located at 39138 Fremont Blvd., and it consists of 65,150 square feet of land improved with a three-story building.

The Mercury News article indicates that the staff report supporting the adoption of the resolution of necessity provides that the City made a written offer to purchase the property from its owner, a Southern California-based firm called Fremont Capital Group, LLC, but more than three months later, the property owner's representatives have not responded to the offer.  However, in reviewing the staff report more closely, it appears that the owner has retained an appraiser and also an attorney.  

Aside from the value of the property, the City will also need to deal with relocating the businesses occupying the 19,680 square foot building, including providing relocation benefits, paying for furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E), compensating the businesses for loss of goodwill, and potentially other claims (such as leasehold bonus value).  The building's tenants include Citibank, SCM Data, Agile Information, Volex Tech, Inc., Faith’s Art Studio, an AM/FM radio/broadcast station, and AT&T has two cellular dishes on the roof of the building.

The staff report also states that while the Capitol Avenue extension project will not necessarily require the acquisition of the entire property, the street extension project will cause the property to become an uneconomic remnant.  The City has therefore decided to acquire the entirety of the property pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 1240.410.

If the City moves forward with adopting the resolution of necessity, the next step would be for the City to file an eminent domain action, then likely a motion for prejudgment possession so it could take possession of the property and start construction of its project.