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SIMCO STORES ET AL. v. REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (03/25/74)

decided: March 25, 1974.

SIMCO STORES ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY



Appeal from judgment of Commonwealth Court, No. 553 C.D. 1972, affirming judgment of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, May T., 1970, No. 3965, in case of Simco Stores, 901 Market Street Co., Inc. d/b/a Dial Shoe Co., Arthur S. Kaufman, Herbert Somekh, Charles Blum, Merchants National Properties, Inc., Tappin's Inc., and Hollander & Fleischman, Inc. v. The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia.

COUNSEL

Theodore R. Mann, with him William T. Coleman, Jr., Robert W. Maris, Mann and Ungar, and Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish, Levy & Coleman, for appellants.

Nathan L. Posner, with him Victor Wright, and Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel, for appellee.

Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Jones. Mr. Justice Eagen and Mr. Justice Manderino concur in the result. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts.

Author: Jones

[ 455 Pa. Page 439]

Appellants were owners and tenants of commercial properties located on the north side of the 900 block of Market Street, which were condemned by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia (Authority).

[ 455 Pa. Page 440]

They seek a reversal of a Commonwealth Court decision dated April 5, 1973, in which that Court, adopting the lower court's opinion, affirmed the lower court's order dismissing appellants' preliminary objections to the Authority's declaration of taking. See 8 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 374, 302 A.2d 907 (1973) (Mencer, J., dissenting). We granted allocatur and this appeal followed.

In 1963, the City Planning Commission (Commission) certified that the area from Spring Garden Street to South Street and from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River was "blighted" as that term is defined in the Urban Redevelopment Law.*fn1 In addition to certifying some new property, this certification consolidated several smaller areas which had been previously and separately certified as "blighted."*fn2 Pursuant to this certification, the Authority condemned appellants' properties on May 21, 1970.

Appellants contend that the lower court erred in dismissing the following preliminary objections to the declaration of taking:

"(1) The area involved was not 'blighted' and that the Commission acted arbitrarily and capriciously in certifying the area as 'blighted.'

"(2) The power and right of the Authority to dispossess appellants or to do anything further in the premises had expired by the explicit terms of the City Council Ordinance authorizing the condemnation.

"(3) The Authority's procedures constituted an unconstitutional means of achieving a ...


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