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Dept. of Public Wks. & Bldgs. v. Klehm

JUNE 19, 1972.

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND BUILDINGS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,

v.

CARL G. KLEHM ET AL., DEFENDANTS — (LEE N. ROMANO ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EDWARD J. EGAN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE BURKE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied September 7, 1972.

This was an eminent domain proceeding filed on July 8, 1968, by the Department of Public Works and Buildings of the State of Illinois to acquire 20.651 acres of an 85.958 acre tract of land situated in the northwest portion of Cook County, which was to be employed in the construction of an interstate highway. Named as defendants in the petition to condemn were Carl G. Klehm, the owner of the tract; Schaumburg Planet Project Corporation, which was under contract to purchase the tract; and Lee N. Romano, president of Schaumburg Planet Project Corporation. The jury returned a verdict awarding the sum of $454,300 as compensation for the 20.651 acres taken, and further finding no damages resulting from the taking to the remainder of the tract. Lee N. Romano and Schaumburg Planet Project Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "defendants") prosecute this appeal from the judgment entered on that verdict.

The 85.958 acre tract of land in question (hereinafter referred to as "subject property") was located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Illinois Route 72 and Illinois Route 53, commonly known as Higgins Road and Rohlwing Road, respectively. The subject property was essentially rectangular in shape at the time of the filing of the petition to condemn, and had an east frontage of some 2,665 feet along Rohlwing Road and a north frontage of some 1,082 feet along Higgins Road; not included in the subject property was a small parcel of land at the immediate corner of the intersection, measuring approximately 205 feet by 189 feet. The 20.651 acres taken by the State was the easternmost and the northernmost portions of the subject property, fronting both on Higgins Road and on Rohlwing Road. At the time of the filing of the petition to condemn, the subject property was employed by Klehm in the growing of nursery stock.

It was contemplated that the interstate highway was to be constructed upon Rohlwing Road, and that Higgins Road was to be widened and improved. Four exit/entrance ramps were to be constructed providing access to and from the interstate highway and Higgins Road. The north, northeast and east perimeters of the subject property remaining after the taking, was to be serviced by a frontage road paralleling the south line of Higgins Road, the southwest interstate highway entrance ramp, and the west line of the interstate highway. Access to the frontage road was to be provided from the south line of Higgins Road upon Martingale Road, a north-south road which partly bordered the west line of the subject property.

The subject property was located in an area devoted mostly to farming at the time of the filing of the petition to condemn. To the east of the subject property, across Rohlwing Road, was a 3,500 acre forest preserve area. To the north of the property, across Higgins Road, was vacant, unused land. On the northeast corner of the intersection was a dormant gasoline filling station and a food stand, and on the southeast corner of the intersection was a second dormant filling station. To the south of the property was farmland. To the west of the property and south of Higgins Road was a small residential area, to the west of which was vacant land, and about three miles west of the subject property were the residential areas of the Village of Schaumburg. About one half mile to the northwest of the subject property was the proposed Woodfield Mall shopping center, the construction of which had not commenced at the time of the filing of the petition to condemn but which was under construction at the time that the jury viewed the subject property during the trial of this cause.

There was some commercial and industrial development in the area about a mile north and west of the subject property prior to the filing of the petition, but it does not appear that there was development in the immediate area of the subject property between the time of the filing of the petition and the time of the trial of this cause. About a mile and a half to the north of the property, on Rohlwing Road, there was a full cloverleaf interchange on the Northwest Tollway.

Three appraisal witnesses testified for the State at the trial of the cause. James Curtis testified that he had appraised several properties in the general area of the subject property, that he was familiar with land values in the area, and that the highest and best use of the property was as a planned multi-family development, with a density of use of not more than twenty units per acre. He testified that the value of the subject property was $1,719,000 and that the value of the part taken was $413,000. He further testified that there was no damage to the remainder after the taking, but that there was an increase in value to the remainder after the taking of $65,500.

Charles Hodlmair testified that he had lived in the area of the subject property all of his life, and that he had been in the real estate business in the area for over 25 years. He testified that the highest and best use of the subject property was as a combination of uses under a planned development zoning, having a density of use of from ten to fourteen units per acre. The witness stated that the value of the subject property was $1,547,244, that the value of the part taken was $371,718, that there was no damage to the remainder after the taking, and that there was an increase in value to the remainder of $130,614.

Edward Smith was the third valuation witness for the State. He testified that he resided about five miles from the subject property, and that he had been in all phases of the real estate business in the area for over forty years. He testified that the value of the subject property was $1,633,200, that the value of the part taken was $392,400, that there was no damage to the remainder after the taking, and that there was an increase in the value of the remainder after the taking of $65,200.

Two appraisal witnesses testified for the defendants. William McCann testified that he had appraised the property across the road from the subject property, that he lived forty or fifty miles from the area of the subject property, and that he officed about thirty miles away. The witness' estimate of the highest and best use of the subject property was as a high intensity, planned unit development for multiple family dwelling, office and retail uses, at fifty units per acre. He estimated that the value of the subject property was $4,300,000, that the value of the part taken was $1,025,000, that the damage to the remainder was $2,292,500, and that there was no increase in value to the remainder resulting from the taking.

Ralph Martin testified that he was a real estate broker since 1957 and that he officed several miles from the subject property. The witness testified that the value of the subject property was $4,300,000, that the value of the part taken was $1,030,000, that the damage to the remainder was $2,070,000, and that there was no increase in value to the remainder resulting from the taking.

The parties called several other witnesses who testified as to soil conditions on the subject property, traffic conditions on the bordering highways, sanitary facilities in the area, zoning, and the like.

Four months prior to the filing of the petition to condemn, Klehm entered into an "Installment Contract to Purchase Real Estate" and a "Supplemental Agreement" with the defendant Schamburg Planet Project ...


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