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HATALOWICH v. REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY MONESSEN (11/26/73)

decided: November 26, 1973.

HATALOWICH
v.
REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF MONESSEN, APPELLANT



Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, No. 3565 of 1968, in case of Frank Hatalowich, William Hatalowich, Amel Hatalowich, and George Hatalowich, trading and doing business as Mon-Valley General Tire Company v. Redevelopment Authority of the City of Monessen.

COUNSEL

James J. Manderino, and Manderino and Sparacino, for appellant.

Albert M. Nichols, for appellees.

Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy and Nix, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Manderino took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Roberts

[ 454 Pa. Page 482]

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Monessen appeals from a decree in equity by the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County.*fn1

The decree ordered appellant Authority to pay to appellees Frank, William, and Amel Hatalowich, trading as Mon-Valley General Tire Company, $25,442.46 as damages for breach of a contract for the sale of land.*fn2

[ 454 Pa. Page 483]

On April 10, 1965, appellees submitted to the Authority a document entitled "Proposal."*fn3 This writing, which the parties agree constituted an offer to purchase, outlined plans for the land in question, stated a price, and was accompanied by a check for ten percent of the proposed purchase price. Paragraph seven recites that upon acceptance of the proposal an "Agreement" would be executed and a ten percent deposit made "to complete the purchase . . . in the manner set forth in the Agreement."

Approximately six months later, on October 28, 1965, the Authority at a regular meeting adopted Resolution 165 which approved appellees' proposed use of the tract in question as a tire service and recapping establishment. The resolution continued: "The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Monessen hereby designates the Mon Valley General Tire Company as the sole Developer for said described tract of land and hereby directs the preparation of a final agreement for the disposition of said tract of land from the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Monessen to Mon Valley General Tire Company." No other formal document was ever executed. In reliance on Resolution 165, appellees continued preparations for construction through further architectural consultation and test borings at the site. Appellant retained the deposit for nearly three years, until September 6, 1968, when it tendered a refund and informed appellees that it would not convey.

That appellees' "Proposal" constituted an offer is not disputed. The question is whether Resolution 165 accepted the tendered offer. The Authority maintained at trial and argues in this appeal that no contract was consummated. The chancellor found Resolution 165

[ 454 Pa. Page 484]

    to be an acceptance and concluded that the contract was complete. We find no error in the trial court's determination ...


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