The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has announced that it has extended the period for the four chosen concessionaires to submit their bids for constructing and maintaining the Purple Line from January 9th to March 12th, 2015 in order to give Governor-elect Larry Hogan time to assess the project after his inauguration on January 21st. Although the bid date has been backed up, the MTA insists that the project construction timeline has not changed and construction will still begin in late 2015 if the new governor allows it to go forward.
Although the date for concessionaires to submit their bids has been delayed, the property acquisition process is moving forward unabated. Some properties have already been acquired and other acquisitions are in process. Appraisers engaged by the State to value the property rights needed are in the field and their submitted appraisals continue to be reviewed by the MTA and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in preparation for offers to be made to owners.
The acquisition process requires that the State make a good faith effort to negotiate a voluntary purchase of the property needed for the project before filing a formal condemnation action. That "good faith process" includes the valuation of the property rights to be acquired and damages caused to any remaining property by an independent appraiser. The MTA and FTA review and approve the independent appraisals upon which the State's offer of compensation will be based. But, it is important for owners to know that they are not obligated to accept the State's offer. Often the condemning authority's offer fails to capture the full value of the property rights being taken, or the damages that will be caused to any remaining property not being taken. Owners should have the State's offer and the appraisal upon which it is based reviewed by knowledgeable counsel before deciding whether or not to accept it.
The eminent domain attorneys at Miller, Miller & Canby will review any offer made by the State without charge to determine whether we believe you may be entitled to greater compensation than has been offered by the State. If you are interested in a no obligation review of your case, or if you have any questions about your rights or the condemnation process, please call our office at 301-762-5212 and ask to speak with one of our eminent domain attorneys, Jim Thompson or Joe Suntum. Jim Thompson was named 2013 Lawyer of the Year in the Eminent Domain category by Best Lawyers and Joe Suntum is the Maryland representative member of the Owners’ Counsel of America—a respected national organization of eminent domain attorneys dedicated to protecting clients’ rights in condemnation. For more information on Miller, Miller & Canby’s eminent domain practice and the firm’s representative eminent domain cases, please click here. For the third year in a row, U.S. News – Best Lawyers® has awarded Miller, Miller & Canby a First Tier ranking in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law.