Dallas sues hold-out property owner near convention center

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on July 12, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 12 at 7:53 PM

Disputed property

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DALLAS - The Dallas Convention Center Hotel is set to open in November and now the City of Dallas is suing a hold-out landowner who refused to sell her property. 

The land is a strip of black top close to the hotel's main entrance.

A month ago, News 8 reported, if the city wanted to buy the land in time for the hotel’s grand opening time was running out.

Turns out, the next day the City sued the landowner, Carolyn McClain, claiming eminent domain.

The city claims it has the right to force the owner to sell the 2,500 square foot parcel.

However, legal experts say the claim may be tricky for Dallas.

Under a new state law, a city may not take land for an economic development project.  So, experts said, the city must prove the hotel project is a "public use space" and that is a concept more commonly used in reference to a street, a highway or a school.

The property is currently valued at $137,500. The City has already offered almost $297,000. That offer was rejected by owner.

McClain does not want to sell because she has leased it and is making money. The City said that does not affect the price it is willing to pay.

Neither side is willing to comment on the lawsuit.

Email: dschechter@wfaa.com

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