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A CONDEMNATION PROCEEDING REM BY REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY CITY PHILADELPHIA FOR PURPOSE REDEVELOPMENT WASHINGTON SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT AREA (05/20/76)

decided: May 20, 1976.

A CONDEMNATION PROCEEDING IN REM BY REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDEVELOPMENT OF WASHINGTON SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT AREA, WASHINGTON SQUARE WEST URBAN RENEWAL AREA, UNIT NO. 2, PHILADELPHIA, INCLUDING CERTAIN LAND IMPROVEMENTS AND PROPERTIES. ASCO PARKING CORP., APPELLANT


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of A Condemnation Proceeding in Rem by Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia for the Purpose of Redevelopment of Washington Square Redevelopment Area, Washington Square West Urban Renewal Area, Unit No. 2, Philadelphia, Including Certain Land Improvements and Properties. ASCO Parking Corp., 1125-37 Locust Street, No. 8026 March Term, 1969.

COUNSEL

Henry A. Stein, with him, of counsel, Mesirov, Gelman, Jaffe & Cramer, for appellant.

Donald Strumpf, with him Peter A Galante, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 551]

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, entered pursuant to Section 407(a) of the Eminent Domain Code, Act of June 22, 1964, Special Sess., P.L. 84, as amended, 26 P.S. § 1-407(a), which decreed that a writ of possession issue for premises occupied by appellant. We affirm.

On April 1, 1969, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia (Authority) filed a declaration of taking, condemning property which included premises located at 1125-37 Locust Street, Philadelphia. These premises were leased and operated by appellant as a multi-level parking garage. Despite the condemnation, appellant continued its possession and operation of the premises as a parking facility. In October, 1971, appellant, as tenant, and the Authority, as landlord, entered into a written lease agreement.*fn1

However, by a writing dated April 9, 1974, captioned "NOTICE TO VACATE", the Authority gave appellant 90 days to surrender possession of the premises. Appellant refused and the Authority filed a petition with the lower court for a writ of possession under Section 407(a) of the Eminent Domain Code, 26 P.S. § 1-407(a). Following the granting of a rule upon appellant to show cause why the writ should not issue, the filing of an answer to the petition by appellant, and the holding of evidentiary hearings, the court, on June 20, 1974, ordered the writ to issue. Appellant is now before this Court on appeal from that order.

First, appellant contends that the Authority is not entitled to a writ of possession since its relocation assistance program fails to satisfy the minimum requirements

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 552]

    of Section 205 of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (Relocation Act), 42 U.S.C. § 4625, and the regulations promulgated thereunder.*fn2 The court below refused to accept this argument, holding that appellant failed to demonstrate in what respects the Authority's relocation program does not comply with the Relocation Act. We must agree with the lower court.

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 553]

To support its contention, appellant relies on testimony, elicited under its cross-examination of the Authority's commercial and industrial relocation specialist, that the Authority, through the invited cooperation of Philadelphia real estate brokers, maintains listings for properties available to displaced businesses.*fn3 Appellant concludes that this testimony establishes that the Authority's relocation program consists " solely of 'inviting ...


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