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PAUL MARCH v. REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY CITY PHILADELPHIA (07/10/75)

decided: July 10, 1975.

PAUL MARCH, JR. AND LOUIS C. MARCH, T/A MARCH BROTHERS, APPELLANTS,
v.
REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLEE. REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLANT, V. PAUL MARCH, JR. AND LOUIS C. MARCH, T/A MARCH BROTHERS, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia, Callowhill East Redevelopment Area v. Paul March, Jr. and Louis C. March, t/a March Brothers, Condemnees, No. 2535 July Term, 1968.

COUNSEL

H. Mark Solomon, for appellants-appellees, March.

David S. Winston, for appellant-appellee, Redevelopment Authority.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 213]

These appeals in an eminent domain proceeding are from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County which modified a verdict of the trial court sitting without a jury to include $10,000.00 in business dislocation damages under Section 601-A(b)(3) of the Eminent Domain Code,*fn1 and confirmed its prior award of $24,250.00 for the real estate and $20,000.00 for machinery and equipment. Appellant-condemnor has appealed the award of business dislocation damages, and Appellant-condemnee challenges the limitation of damages for machinery and equipment to $20,000.00.

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 214]

On August 2, 1968, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia (Condemnor) condemned a property located at 422 North Second Street upon which Paul March, Jr. and Louis C. March, t/a March Brothers (Condemnee) operated as owner-occupants a meat processing plant. Condemnor obtained possession on March 1, 1971, at which time Condemnee went out of business, leaving behind all fixed and loose machinery and equipment. The parties stipulated at trial that the value of the real estate was $24,250.00. As to the value of the machinery and equipment taken, Condemnee's expert appraised 52 items of fixed and loose equipment at an in-place value of $30,330.00, broken down to $23,105.00 for fixed equipment, and $7,225 for removable items. He testified that he considered the plant and equipment an assembled economic unit which could not be operated with only the removable items of equipment in another location. Condemnor, in turn, presented its expert's appraisal of 18 items of machinery and equipment with a total in-place value of $15,385.00. The trial judge rendered a verdict in the stipulated amount for the real estate, $4,000 for business dislocation, and $20,000 for machinery. Exceptions by both parties to that portion of the verdict awarding business dislocation and machinery and equipment damages were filed and the lower court thereupon increased business dislocation damages to $10,000.00, which is the maximum allowed under Section 601-A(b)(3).*fn2 In all other respects, the verdict was affirmed.

Now we hear these appeals.

Condemnor argues that the court below erred when it awarded dislocation damages because Condemnee failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that its business could not be relocated without sustaining a substantial

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 215]

    loss of existing patronage. We disagree. Section 601-A(b)(3) provides in pertinent part:

"In addition to damages under clauses (1) or (2) of this subsection, damages of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) nor less than twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500), in an amount equal to . . . forty times the fair monthly rental value, in the case of owner occupancy;*fn3 . . . . In the case of a business, payment shall be made under this subsection only if the business (i) cannot be relocated ...


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