Type to search

Avondale Estates settles condemnation lawsuit for total of $108,600

Avondale Estates Trending

Avondale Estates settles condemnation lawsuit for total of $108,600

The Avondale Estates City Commission has declared its intent to file eminent domain proceedings to condemn a piece of property at 143 Maple Street. The city needs 1,775 square feet of the property in order to extend Maple Street. Image obtained from DeKalb County Tax Commissioner's Office.

Avondale Estates, GA — The city of Avondale Estates has settled a lawsuit with the owner of condemned property at 143 Maple Street regarding the fair market value of the property.

In 2020, the city commission declared its intent to file eminent domain proceedings to condemn a piece of property at 143 Maple Street. The city needs 1,775 square feet of the property to extend Maple Street and connect it with the access road Trammell Crow built.

As part of the city’s street grid project, Trammell Crow built a new street behind their property that will connect with Maple Street. Trammell Crow was responsible for building the new street, City Manager Patrick Bryant previously told Decaturish.

In order to extend Maple Street to meet or connect with the new public road that will be built by Trammell Crow, we have to enter into the process of eminent domain because the portion of that road is currently owned in a private capacity,” Bryant said.

Joe Gargiulo owns the property at 143 Maple Street, which border’s the Trammell Crow mixed-use development. He appealed the fair market value of the property. According to the resolution, Gargiulo agreed to accept $108,600 as total compensation for the condemned property.

“The city did an appraisal, and placed a check with the Superior Court in the amount of that appraisal,” Bryant said. “The city then took action several months later, as a part of the litigation that was initiated by the former property owner challenging the value of that appraisal, to deposit additional funds to the Superior Court while that litigation was ongoing.”

The city has already paid Gargiulo $60,350. To settle the lawsuit, the city commission approved a payment of an additional $48,250 to reach the total compensation of $108,600.

However, to settle the lawsuit, the payment is conditional upon Gargiulo conveying other property needed for the U.S. 278 road diet to the city.

U.S. 278 is the main drag in Avondale Estates, where it has the names of East College Avenue and North Avondale Road as it runs through the city and its historic downtown.

The road diet plan, in the works since at least 2014, is intended to make the street more walkable and grow the city’s central business district. In December, Decaturish reported that the city would donate four sections of city right-of-way to the Georgia Department of Transportation to complete the U.S. 278 road diet.

Gargiulo also sued the Georgia Department of Transportation and the city over its plans to use eminent domain to take portions of his property for the project. He filed the lawsuit on Jan. 18, according to a copy provided to Decaturish. He asked a judge to declare the road diet does not serve a public purpose and is not a public necessity. He says the road diet will harm property owners and increase emergency response times.

“The Road Diet Project will deter persons from patronizing businesses along U.S. Highway 278 as they will not have direct safe access to such businesses once the Road Diet Project is complete,” the lawsuit says.

Gargiulo also owns property at 2711 East College Avenue, 2741 East College Avenue and 2774 East College Avenue.

City Attorney Stephen Quinn said this lawsuit was dismissed.

“We moved to dismiss it on grounds that it doesn’t state a claim and rather than letting the court decide that motion, Gargiulo dismissed his own case,” Quinn said.

In other business, the city commission and Urban Redevelopment Agency approved a resolution extending the maturity of the city’s bond anticipation note. The BAN amount is $8.4 million and has been used on an interim basis to finance urban redevelopment projects, most notably the Town Green.

The city commission and URA extended the maturity of the BAN from Dec. 31, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2023.

The city commission issued the BAN in 2019, which acts as a line of credit the city can borrow from, City Manager Patrick Bryant previously said.

“The bond anticipation note lasts for a three-year period. After that period, once we’re finished borrowing funds through that bond anticipation note, then we have to come back and issue an actual bond to pay off the bond anticipation note,” Bryant previously said.

When the BAN expires, the city will issue revenue bonds in the total principal amount of about $8.9 million, according to the resolution.

If you appreciate our work, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $6 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here

Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here.