Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, April T., 1963, No. 1848, in case of Profit-Sharing Blue Stamp Company v. Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.
Richard W. Kelly, with him H. L. Abrams, for appellant.
John W. Mamula, for appellee.
Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Musmanno. Mr. Justice Jones and Mr. Justice Roberts concur in the result. Mr. Justice Cohen dissents. Mr. Chief Justice Bell and Mr. Justice Eagen took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
Profit-Sharing Blue Stamp Company, hereinafter referred to as the Stamp Company, occupied as tenant a corner store located in a building at the northwest corner of Penn Avenue and Beatty Street in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh. The building was condemned by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh as part of its East Liberty Redevelopment project. The owner of the building had been compensated for the taking of the fee but the Stamp Company also claimed compensation for the value of the future interest of its leasehold.
The lease in question had an unexpired term of four months at $600 monthly rental; a two-year renewal period at $625 per month and a second renewal period of two years at $650 per month, or a total reserved rental of $33,000.
After the Authority petitioned for the appointment of viewers, the board of viewers filed a report awarding "No Damages", on the basis that the Stamp Company had suffered no damage from the condemnation and had lost nothing from the termination of the leasehold because the $600 monthly rental provided therein, was the fair market rental and the lessor could not have obtained any more rental therefor. The Stamp Company protested that although its lease did provide for a $600 monthly rental, the fair market rental of the premises in question was $1,083 per month or $56,310 for the entire term, so that the lease had a "bonus value" of $23,310.
The Stamp Company took an appeal to the common pleas court and the issue was tried before a judge and jury.
At the trial, both the Authority and the Stamp Company presented expert testimony. The Authority made
motions for non-suit and a directed verdict, contending that the Stamp Company's evidence was not, as a matter of law, sufficient to sustain its claim of the aforesaid "bonus value". The court refused the motions and submitted the case to the jury which returned a verdict in favor of the Stamp Company, assessing its damages at $18,139, which was ...