Appeal from the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, at No. 1452, July Term, 1966, in case of North Side Deposit Bank v. Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. Appeal transferred to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
William W. Milnes, with him Brandt, McManus, Brandt and Malone, for appellant.
Thomas H. Welsh, with him William G. Sutter, Jr., and Metz, Cook, Hanna and Kelly, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman, and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Manderino, Mencer and Barbieri. Opinion by Judge Barbieri.
This is an appeal by the North Side Deposit Bank (Condemnee) from an order of the lower court dismissing its motion for a new trial.
Acting under its power of eminent domain pursuant to the Act of June 22, 1964 (Special Session) P.L. 84, 26 P.S. § 1-101 et seq. (Supp. 1970), the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (Condemnor) appropriated an eight-story building owned by the Condemnee. The first two floors and mezzanine contained Condemnee's banking facilities and offices. The upper six floors were rented offices.
The Condemnor filed a Declaration of Taking on May 5, 1966 and a Petition for Appointment of Viewers on June 6, 1966. The report of the Board of Viewers was filed on June 19, 1968, awarding Condemnee $445,000 plus moving expenses. On July 11, 1968, the Condemnee appealed to the Common Pleas Court of Allegheny County. The case was heard by a judge sitting with a jury. The trial resulted in a verdict of $400,000,
plus $5400 moving expenses for machinery, equipment and fixtures not forming part of the real estate, and $499 moving expenses for personal property. Condemnee's motion for a new trial, heard by a court en banc, was dismissed on December 10, 1969. This appeal followed.
Appellant Condemnee has briefed and argued three grounds for the granting of a new trial: (1) that Condemnor's expert Arnheim violated the "unit rule" by adding to his own valuation of the land and buildings at $330,000, the valuation of the machinery and equipment allegedly part of the real estate at $42,530 fixed by another of Condemnor's witnesses, Bailey, to arrive at his opinion of the fair market value of the whole property of $372,000; (2) that the "comparable sales" chart offered by Condemnor was erroneously accepted into evidence because it contained sales that were so remote in time from the date of the taking and otherwise not comparable to Condemnee's property that they should have been excluded from the jury's consideration as being not "judicially comparable"; and (3) that the trial judge erred in failing to charge the jury, as requested by Condemnee, that the fair market value of the property included items of machinery, equipment and fixtures which were necessary to the operation of the bank, if they were placed therein for permanent use (the Assembled Economic Unit Doctrine). We will consider these contentions in the order in which they have been presented.
1. The "Unit Rule" as to Expert Testimony
Condemnee's first contention is that Condemnor's witness Arnheim was erroneously permitted to testify as to damages in violation of the so-called "unit rule". Condemnee failed to object to the testimony when it was ...