Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Grover Driscoll v. The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia, No. 4165 March Term, 1967.
Lawrence S. Rosenwald, with him Rosenwald & Pollack, for appellant.
Herbert J. Hutton, for appellee.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Blatt and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge DiSalle.
[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 203]
Presently before us is an appeal from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County awarding condemnation damages pursuant to the provisions of the Eminent Domain Code (Code), Act
[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 204]
of June 22, 1964, Special Sess., P.L. 84, as amended, 26 P.S. § 1-101 et seq.
On May 1, 1967, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia (Authority) condemned a property which Grover Driscoll (Condemnee) leased and on which he operated a taproom. Condemnee sought, inter alia, compensation for the loss in value of his liquor license and of the machinery, equipment and fixtures (hereinafter referred to as MEF) used in his business. The lower court awarded $20,000 for the liquor license claim, $12,000 on the MEF claim, and delay compensation for the delayed payment thereof. The award of delay compensation was to be calculated from the date of the taking notwithstanding the fact that Condemnee remained in possession of the premises and paid rent thereon through 1970.
The Authority raises three questions on appeal: (1) whether the court erred in awarding $20,000 for the loss in value of the liquor license; (2) whether the court erred in awarding delay compensation to a tenant who remained in possession of the condemned property and who continued to pay rent therefor; and, (3) whether the court improperly applied the Assembled Economic Unit Doctrine in valuing Condemnee's MEF.
We begin our consideration of the first question by noting that there is no doubt that a liquor license is a compensable property interest within the meaning of the Code. Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia v. Lieberman, 461 Pa. 208, 336 A.2d 249 (1975). The Authority contends, however, that the award in this case of $20,000 for the damage to the liquor license actually compensated Condemnee for his loss of business and patronage, and that this was improper. Rather, the Authority argues that the liquor license should be valued at what it would be worth detached from Condemnee's business.
[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 205]
Our Court recently had occasion to affirm the award of $40,000 to a condemnee for damage to his liquor license under circumstances similar to those in the present case. Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia v. Royal Janet Corp., 42 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 546, 401 A.2d 17 (1979). This award expressly reflected the value of the license in use by the condemnee at the time of the condemnation. Having reviewed the record in the present matter, we believe that the lower court's award here of $20,000 for demage ...