Thursday, June 13, 2024

114 West Elm Street
Graham, NC 27253
Ph: 336.228.7851

DOT begins condemnation litigation against 2 Graham property owners to make way for roundabout, widening at Harden & Elm Sts.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has started condemnation proceedings against two properties in Graham in preparation for what the DOT describes as a redesign of the intersection of N.C. Highway 54 and N.C. 49 that state transportation planners say will improve traffic flow and pedestrian accessibility at the busy intersection.

DOT announced the proposed improvements in early 2021 and held a series of meetings later that spring in order to get public input on the project.

The state transportation department filed condemnation proceedings last week in Alamance County superior court against two affected properties near the intersection of N.C. Highway 54 and N.C. 49, according to the court file.

One of the parcels is located at 400 East Elm Street and owned by Bassi Properties LLC , according to the court file. The property is currently home to B Mart, a gas station/convenience store at 400 East Elm Street.

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Alamance County tax records show that the property contains a 4,000-square foot convenience store built in 2017; the latest assessed tax value is listed at $860,462.

DOT filed a condemnation proceeding against the convenience store property last Monday.

The department has since deposited a check for $62,735 as compensation for the taking with the Alamance County clerk of superior court’s office, according to the court file.

DOT also began condemnation proceedings last week against a sliver of commercial land near the intersection of N.C. Highway 54 and N.C. 49, which is currently leased to a used car dealership, RM Cars LLC, which has its registered office at 1231 University Drive in Durham, the court file states.

The RM car lot on the opposite corner is also the subject of DOT’s condemnation proceedings.

Alamance County tax records list the latest assessed value for the vacant commercial land at $30,823. DOT has deposited a check in the clerk of court’s office for $233,625 as compensation for the property.

The second parcel is owned by Jerry Shouse, Jr. and wife Bonita J. Shouse of Daytona Beach, Florida; and Jeffrey G. Shouse and wife Kim Shouse of Indian Harbour Beach, Florida.

The two parcels that DOT has filed condemnation proceedings against are located across from each other at the intersection of Walker Avenue with East Elm Street, according to Alamance County’s GIS mapping system. DOT plans to use both properties for a temporary construction easement, a slope easement, permanent drainage easement, and a permanent utility easement, according to descriptions in both court files.

The court files do not indicate how DOT calculated the levels of compensation being offered in exchange for taking either parcel.

DOT is being represented by the state attorney general’s office for both of the condemnation proceedings. Neither defendant had filed a response by press time.

Meanwhile, a law firm based in Raleigh that specializes in eminent domain has posted a solicitation for new clients on its website which states that more than two dozen properties are affected by DOT’s plans to replace an existing signalized intersection with a “hybrid roundabout” at the intersection of N.C. Highway 54 (East Harden Street) and N.C. Highway 49 (East Elm Street) in Graham.

The current transportation improvement plan for the Burlington-Graham Metropolitan Planning Organization (BGMPO), a regional transportation agency that serves Alamance County and parts of Guilford and Orange counties, states that construction is scheduled to begin this year.

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