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Apparently there is more than fist
bumping (pumping?) going on "down the Shore." The PropertyProf Blog has
an interesting story about what it calls "A Non-Taking On The Jersey Shore." If nothing else, the story gives me a work-related reason to go down to Atlantic City. I don't really want to go down to the casinos, I have to do it for the sake of the blog . . .
The article tells the story of a tiny lot sandwiched in between Trump
Plaza and Cesar's Palace. It is zoned for gambling, which the post
notes "doesn't exactly seem like the highest and best use." But,
the lot has some history, as it was at the center of a high-profile
takings case from the early days of the once booming (now not really
booming) gambling mecca:
Vera Coling and her
husband bought the property in 1961, when Atlantic City was still a
thriving beachtown. A decade later, as the city fell into decline, it
made the drastic decision to legalize gambling and welcome big-time
casino development. The prime location of Coking's three-story house
quickly attracted the interest of the real estate industry. In 1983, for
example, Bob Guccione (the founder of Penthouse), offered to purchase
the house for $1 million to build a casino. Coking said no.
Soon enough, the
property attracted the attention of another tycoon - Donald Trump.
Unlike Guccione, Trump had the local redevelopment agency attempt to
acquire the property through eminent domain for $250,000, a much reduced
price. Coking sued Trump and the redevelopment agency, claiming that
the taking was not for a public purpose. The Superior Court in New
Jersey agreed with Coking. It ruled that because there were few
restrictions on what Trump could do with the property, there were "no
assurances that the public interest will be protected."
The post notes that the arguments raised
in the case are "[o]f historical interest for property profs" and other
folks interested in takings, because it was "the Institute for
Justice's first test case for the theories it later advanced in Kelo [v. City of New London]," [enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers / unenhanced version available from lexisONE Free Case Law]
the controversial eminent domain/takings case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court a few years back.
Also of historical interest is the
interview with Donald Trump embedded in the post, which presents a much
younger, pre-Apprentice, less coiffed, but no less pompous, version of
Finally, in case you are interested, the property is for sale. Here is the listing. It can be yours for only $5 million, or slightly less than what this guy took from the Tropicana in a marathon gamling session a few weeks ago.
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