Despite objections that the project would displace homes and churches,
the Inglewood City Council voted to authorize the use of eminent domain
to clear space for
the future Clippers basketball arena. To add ire to an already controversial decision, the arena is a private
project that will be used to host a privately owned organization. Nevertheless,
attorneys for the city decided the site qualified for public use because
it offers “access to amusement, enjoyment, and recreation.”
Ultimately, only 3 of the 11 properties affected by the use of eminent
domain were active – 2 warehouses and 1 Church’s Chicken location.
The other 8 structures were vacant or used for billboards.
Critics of the decision hold fast that the Clippers project is contributing
to the city’s problems. As the
Uplift Inglewood Coalition explains:
“Inglewood already lacks affordable housing and this project would exacerbate
the housing crisis, displacing families, and promoting gentrification…
It simply does not make any sense to prioritize an NBA arena over the
needs of Inglewood residents. Public land should be used for the public
good, and access to housing is central to building strong communities.”
Before voting, the Inglewood City Council heard public testimony from property
owners who refused offers sent in late 2020. In total, the Clippers will purchase
22 acres of land for the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center (IBEC), which will
include an 18,500-seat stadium, an 85,000-square-foot training facility,
office space, a medical clinic, an outdoor plaza, retail space, dining,
restrooms, security, 2 parking garages, and a hotel.
Proponents of the project argue:
“Construction of the arena will promote the city as a ‘premier regional
sports and entertainment center,’ bring an NBA team back to the
city, stimulate the local economy, provide publicly accessible space,
and spur $100 million in community benefits.”
Because Inglewood chose to use eminent domain, a jury will determine the
fair market value of the properties in question, and the Clippers will
have to pay whatever amount the jury decides. The Clippers may also be
responsible for relocation costs and the financial impact of moving on
the businesses and property owners – but only if those business
and property owners hire good attorneys to represent their interests.
Facing an Eminent Domain Case?
If you find yourself subject to eminent domain, turn to
Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP for the legal help you need. We have been guiding people like you through
eminent domain cases since 1987, and we’ve handled situations similar
to this one. In fact, our firm was special counsel for the San Diego Padres
while Petco Park was underway.
We understand the issues involved and how to handle eminent domain fairly
for all parties involved.
Call us at (888) 998-2031 or contact us online
today to help ensure your eminent domain case works in your favor.