Report: Orlando City see latest land negotiations break down, eminent domain likely

NewOrlandoCityOwner (VinceMaduri)


Orlando City need to secure one final piece of land to begin construction on their downtown soccer-specific stadium, but they will likely need the city of Orlando to go the route of eminent domain to do so.

According to a report from, the city of Orlando’s negotiations with a church over the last piece of property that MLS-bound Orlando City need to build its stadium have broken down.

The Faith Deliverance Temple initially requested $35 million for the plot of land that is valued at $690,000, but it was offered only $1.5 million by the city. There was still reportedly hope that a deal could be worked out, but the Faith Deliverance Temple has gone back to wanting $35 million, leaving the city with little recourse as to what to do next.

“We have not filed eminent domain, but I do anticipate we will move forward with that,” said Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer.

The city is reportedly willing to go higher on its $1.5 million offer to reach a deal. But an eminent domain hearing seems like the path the city will have to take in the near future in order to obtain that piece of land for the Lions.

“We are going to leave that door open, but we’re going to have to go ahead and continue or pursue opportunities to have the court determine what the value of the property is,” said Dyer.

In a case of eminent domain, a judge would first need to decide if the city could take the land. If the judge rules in the city’s favor, he or she would then decide the value of the land and the church would be required to accept it.

Orlando City will play at a renovated Florida Citrus Bowl during their inaugural MLS season next year. The Lions were initially hoping to begin playing at their soccer-specific stadium at the midpoint of the 2015 season, but they have pushed back the opening date to 2016.


What do you make of this development? Think this could push back Orlando City’s soccer-specific stadium opening even more?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, MLS- Orlando City. Bookmark the permalink.

129 Responses to Report: Orlando City see latest land negotiations break down, eminent domain likely

  1. Tk says:

    Big business is evil, manipulative and willing to take advantage of any situation….oh wait.

    • bb says:

      How bad would it look to the public that a stadium is taking land from a temple?! Pretty bad.

      I don’t think eminent domain will work here, whenever I’ve seen it enforced, they’re taking land from a person (like a home) to build something for the public. (like roads, transit, school, library etc.) This is taking land from a temple, which serves the public, for a private stadium.

      They can argue it’s for public benefit, but I’ve seen those arguments fail before in other eminent domain attempts. It will help if the land/stadium will be owned by the city, but I don’t think a court will force a temple to sell the land to some “rich owners of a professional sports team”.

      A lot of factors can go into this. What is the property’s zoning, is the lot vacant, has the temple ever used it, what is in the city’s master plan, if it looks like the temple is only holding out for more money? Asking 35mil for land valued at 690k, while OCFC has already offered double the value, then eminent domain could just be a threat to get the temple to negotiate their price down.

      Any local people know more about the temple’s land, and who will be owning the stadium?

      • 407 says:

        Orlando (the city; city of Orlando, not Orlando City the soccer team) will own the stadium.

        The soccer team has no part in these negotiations. It’s completely between the local government and the church.

        The land itself was surrounded by abandoned warehouses until a few years ago when most of the old building were torn down outright. The church is mostly surrounded by an empty field a block and a half from the Amway Center where the NBA Magic play.

        • bb says:

          Ok, then the city’s pretty much gonna get that land. My bet is that eminent domain is a threat to get the temple’s offer down.

          If you’re serious about eminent domain, you do it quietly. The public doesn’t like to see it used. It’s always bad pr. If you’re telling reporters that you are going do try eminent domain, it’s a negotiation tactic.

          One way or another, the city is getting that land.

          • bryan says:

            it’s also bad PR to try and get $35M for land worth $690,000, right? especially when offered $1.5M.

            • ChiTownFire says:

              If they don’t want to sell, they can put the price at whatever they want. I’m guessing at 35 Million they really don’t want to sell.

        • LeaveAReply says:

          Do these Deliverance people know that Kaka is coming? He loves baby jesus as if it were his own child. Did they name themselves after that Burt Reynolds movie of the same name? If so, they may make Rawlins squeel.

        • Northzax says:

          But it is actually a church, right? Not a vacant lot? That’s bad politics…

          • don Lamb says:

            depending on how big and “influential” the congregation is. based on what little I know of those details, this will not be a case of bad politics…

      • Joamiq says:

        Eminent domain is used for private developments all the time. The definition of public benefit has widened considerably.

      • ZTom says:

        This is a valuable parcel just a block away from the 480 million dollar Amway Center, home to the Orlando NBA team. If you wanted the ideal place to park to go to Amway Center, this parcel would be ideal.

        690k? 1.5 million? Don’t make me laugh, MLS Orlando is trying to steal this parcel. It is one of three parcels that it looks like will be patched together for the stadium site. These three parcels will then be roughly the same size as the Amway Center site, address 400 W. Church Street, Orlando.

        The parcel that MLS Orlando is literally trying to steal is 625 W Church St, Orlando. It is one quarter of the parcel that will make-up the final parcel, then it is worth one-quarter of the 35 million figure (best comparable), so about 8.5 millions. But that was then, this is now, so anything less than 10 millions for 625 W Church would be highway robbery.

        link to

        • 407 says:

          The comparison is not valid. That $35 million figure was for a larger piece of land, closer to the center of downtown, and was highly inflated in the middle of the real estate bubble eight years ago. Therefore the $35 million figure is meaningless.

          This property is appraised at barely $700k. The city of Orlando (once again, not the MLS club, the local goverment) offered twice and three times the appraised value already.

          • ZTom says:

            “”That $35 million figure was for a larger piece of land, closer to the center of downtown.””

            How do you know it was larger? I acknowledged that the 35 million parcel is larger in my appraisal above, so what’s your point?

            But, let’s not take your word on it, what parcel was it exactly that was taken via eminent domain for 35 million? How could it be more valuable than being a block away from the 480 million dollar Amway Center (for the proposed use of a sawker stadium which could also host other sports wink wink)?

            If that’s the best argument the fanboi’s got, then my appraisal of 10 million for 625 W Church in Orlando stands (but bring on some more info on our best comparable, the 35 million parcel).

            • 407 says:

              The point is you continue to compare apples to oranges as if it’s apples to apples. Prattle on all you want, but you’re wrong.

              You have your facts wrong, to start. The other church’s land from 2006 was sold, not taken by ED. And, your lack of knowledge about downtown Orlando real estate is not made up for with some googlemapping. You don’t have to be an expert, but at least try to deal in facts. That’s the polite way of saying you don’t know what you’re talking about and it’s useless to make up for your lack of facts with rude comments and name-calling, even if that’s the best you’re capable of.

              The church property (as previously stated multiple times) is abandoned warehouses, to the west side of downtown, on the other side of Interstate 4. The city government has launched three or four campaigns to revitalize that area over the past twenty-odd years, all of which have resulted in abandoned warehouses and empty fields—because the land is of low value, despite the fact that that plot is a block and a half from the recently new NBA arena.

              And “fanboi”? Really? You’re no longer worthy of speaking to.

          • ZTom says:

            “”This property is appraised at barely $700k.””

            Incorrect. It’s assessed at barely 700k, for tax purposes. That’s different from an appraisal. I just did what we call a verbal appraisal and 625 W Church is worth from 8.5 to 10 million USD.

        • solles says:

          what are you, the lawyer for this church?

    • slowleftarm says:

      Demanding $35m for a piece of land worth $690k? I hope they get as little as possible.

      • William the Terror says:


        Greedy pigs.

      • MN Footie says:

        But it’s their land, and they own it…

        • betamale says:

          Agreed. Eminent domain is just more tyranny by an out of touch government who thinks they can take whatever they want regardless of whether or not they have no right to it.

          Sad, but that’s the world we live in now.

          • bb says:

            I can argue either side of the issue. Yes, it doesn’t feel right when the govt can come in and force you to sell your property. But i think the language you used is a little too harsh. So here’s the other side.

            Eminent Domain, at it’s best, is meant for the betterment of society. It helps everyone. Cities grow, populations expand. If eminent domain wasn’t available, it would extremely difficult to accommodate changing cities. Infrastructure is needed. Public services are needed. If someone simply ‘got there first’ at what point is it no longer fair for them to hold back a municipality from growth? That’s what eminent domain was made for. The govt isn’t stealing the property, the do give fair compensation for the land.

            We just need to make sure it’s not abused. Eminent domain is evil, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil. Now, as to whether a stadium is a valid use for eminent domain, is an entirely different topic! :)

            • MN Footie says:

              That’s a fair response, bb. I think it’s just as fair, though, to point out that property rights are an elemental part of all of the other aspects of progress you cite. If you don’t start with property rights, you’ll have an unstable foundation, and societal betterment will be tough (or illusory). My two cents.


    • alf says:

      $690,000 appraised vs $35,000,000 asking price sounds like attempted robbery to me.

      • alf says:

        I looked at the property and $690,000 was generous.

      • beto says:


      • Hogatroge says:

        Apparently the church wants the same amount of money the city paid another (considerably larger and nicer) church a few years ago for a downtown parcel worth much more than the current parcel.

        On one hand, it sucks for them that they have no recourse other than selling. On the other hand, they are obviously being extremely greedy.

      • curmudgeon says:

        Don’t get caught up in “OMG $35M? They’re crazy!” It doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means.

        They’re not asking for $35M because they think it’s worth that much, or because they think they’ll get that much. They’re asking for an absurdly large amount simply as a way of saying “we don’t want to sell.”

        It’s like recently, when we had several roofing companies give us estimates on work on our roof, and one of the companies gave us an estimate that was *way way way* out of whack with the rest of the companies. That was their way of saying “we don’t really want to do this work; but hey, if you’re willing to pay *this* much, we’ll find a way.”

        • Seriously says:

          Looking at their site, which is a complete dump, the only reason they could have for not wanting to sell is simply to be a thorn in the government’s side. Being given over double what it is worth to relocate that heap should be a blessing to that place.

          • Jacknut says:

            That’s a good enough reason not to sell for me. I’d rather the stadium fail than have land taken at essentially gunpoint. Given the future value of the land, I’d say $35 million is a generous offer.

            • solles says:

              your name fits you

            • Seriously says:

              Right,being given more than double your value is totally gunpoint. They can’t hold the stadium hostage over the future value of the land because that value does not exist with them there. They play zero part in the value of the land rising because while they are there it is worth nothing. THAT is holding up a revitalization by gunpoint.

    • scott says:

      Ives, you really got to get a new picture of OCSC brass. I think you have used this picture at least 4 times now.

  2. MLSsnob says:

    Boyah! Greedy churches, man.

  3. Gerard D. says:

    If anyone wants a great laugh, go find the Facebook page for that church. It’s priceless. City of Orlando is called Satan a number of times.

  4. Cabrito says:

    Is Orlando just one giant church?

  5. TK-421 says:

    So Orlando City wants the municipal government to seize property that belongs to someone else in order to build a soccer stadium?

    Yeah, no.

    • CeezNYRB says:

      Fair value is reported at 690,000. Orlando is offering twice that amount. The church is asking 50 times the fair value. Educate yourself on eminent domain.

      So uh….yeah. It’s happening.

    • Gerard D. says:

      Eminent domain requires equal or greater compensation. Orlando is offering twice the assessed value. The Church is saying they want 50 times assessed value. Insanity.

      • LeaveAReply says:

        Maybe their faith requires that they be compensated 50 times over.

        • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

          That’s not faith, that’s GREED! And the good Lord mentions money just about 100 times in the text of the Gospels and is quite clear about its power and hold on us. Apparently someone’s not reading.

          Not hating, I say this as a minister.

          • Northzax says:

            As a minister, is your church worth just money? What’s the cash value of the spiritual home of your congregation, where your parishioners were baptized, confirmed, married? Would you sell for double the land value? Triple?

            • Scott says:

              The spiritual home is the heart and the people. Everything else is just bricks. No one worries about your version of the spiritual home when the build another church during expansion. Having said that, this is not an endorsement for eminent domain, as I am typically not a fan. That being said, usually eminent domain doesn’t offer ~2x value. Also, there is probably a lot of room for moving the “total package” higher if they negotiated smarter. $35MM is not smarter in this matter.

              • Scott says:

                Taking it a little farther, figure out what you want to do with the new church and put a price on it. My church would probably say “this money allows us to provide a bigger impact on the community while expanding our facilities. Thank you Lord!” Maybe you need $2MM to make it happen. Ask for it, as it is still $33MM shy of your current outrageous offer. Eminent domain…still not a fan.

              • Northzax says:

                Yeah, yeah, a church is not a steeple. Sure. So you’d be thrilled to sell your church for a stadium?

              • Seriously says:

                @Northzax, if my church was that dump and we were going to be able to upgrade significantly due to being given double our value? Absolutely.

          • 407 says:


            Money is mentioned throughout the Bible nearly 3,000 times.

  6. reignman says:

    I have big issues with using eminent domain for things like this. Eminent domain’s original purpose was to allow the government to take land that was needed for government projects for the betterment of the general population (freeways, highways, dumps, etc.). There is no way a stadium should be getting used for this purpose, if an individual or group doesn’t want to sell land for a stadium then too bad. I know it happens all the time for malls and other junk but that doesn’t make it any more right.

    • Ryan SATX says:

      There’s an argument to be made for bringing things like stadiums/malls into an area leading to overall economic growth and development in said area because of increased traffic and whatnot. I, however, cry when I see numbers so I won’t begin to act like I can explain it in any more detail than that.

      • reignman says:

        It is a flimsy argument to me, I’ve heard it before. It really takes a lot of money to make back things like construction and infrastructure costs. There are a bunch of examples of malls and stadiums not even coming close to paying themselves off.

        • MN Footie says:

          And to expand a bit on my comment above… What about the fact that this Temple, crazy though they may be, own the land? What about property rights?

          I mean, I can understand if the city of Orlando needed to seize the land because there’s a public emergency or something. But that’s not here. They’re infringing on property rights in order to pad their (and their partners’) pockets.

          Not a fan.

          • solles says:

            theyd be getting twice the value for their crappy little strip of dirt, at a minimum, it sounds like they could get a bit more even. this doesnt really make sense unless theyre just trying to get exposure to bump up their (reportedly) tiny congregation of nutters who like to call the city “the great satan”.

            • MN Footie says:

              I’d agree that they’re certainly crazy, in light of their “great satan” comments and the fact that they don’t want to sell their property for a nice premium. But that’s the funny thing about valuing assets, particularly land. You or I might think a parcel is worth X dollars, but someone else might disagree, even foolishly.

              The thing is, they’ve got a right to be foolish, and crazy, and leave a bunch of money on the table. One man’s trash, etc.

      • Jacknut says:

        I know numbers make you cry, but every reputable economic study shows that stadiums don’t add any economic development to a regional economy. At best, they shift spending from one part of the region to another.

    • Dirk McQuigley says:

      Whether you or I or anyone else have issues with the process of eminent domain is irrelevant. SCOTUS in Kelo v. New London vastly expanded ED by allowing private companies to take land. Eventually the city will win. Make a final offer of $2 million. If the church rejects that, all they are doing is stiffing the taxpayers because an ED fight is going to take time, cost lots of money, but it will always end w/ the city winning.

      • reignman says:

        I knew it had been expanded but could not remember the exact case, thanks for mentioning it. I know that the city (and by proxy the team) will eventually win this, I just have issues with the idea of using eminent domain for a stadium.

  7. EQeki says:

    $100 says its a black church

    • CeezNYRB says:

      Stupid comment. Why even bother making yourself look like that?

      • EQeki says:

        Calling a spade a spade

        you ever see any other churches where there pastors are driving bentleys ?

        • Gerard D. says:

          Like every single Mega Church. Every. Single. One.

        • Matt J. Brooks says:

          Church I went to for a while was like this, the leadership was rolling in money and was like 90% white. Benny Hin isn’t black, Joel Osteen isn’t black, Kenneth Copeland isn’t black (and he has a freakin airstrip and hanger)…you either have a bias or just don’t know the “loaded churches”

          • EQeki says:

            and all those people you named wouldnt charge $35 million for a piece a land worth a half mil

            • don Lamb says:

              I don’t think you are smart enough to realize the significance of $35 mil.

              They don’t want to sell. This is not greed, as is suggested below. This is a huge middle finger. The church is saying that they are not going to sell for anything and you can make this an ugly situation if you want, but we are going to sit tight with our nice little place of worship.

              • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

                What is the problem? You can build a better / bigger church with 1.2 M. Not sure what the message is by saying 35 M, why not say.. not interested in selling….if that truly is the case. Lets be real they want more $.

    • Brown man says:

      Wow, ignorance certainly is crawling out of the woodwork these days. I imagine Bundy and Sterling put you up to this.

    • Jacknut says:

      Thank you for logging in Mr. Sterling.

  8. Ryan SATX says:

    If people at this church think that demanding 50x the market value for something is reasonable, I’ve got all sorts of stuff I’d love to sell them.

    • JayAre says:

      Start with pet rocks and 50x the regular price

    • reignman says:

      Or maybe they just don’t want to sell so are asking a really high price?

      • CeezNYRB says:

        Ding ding ding! We have a winner! What a deep, thoughtful observation.

        They’re being greedy and their greed (a sin in God’s eyes…hypocritical much?) will only serve to hold back the community from profiting on socioeconomic development. So who’s “Satan” now?

        Ah, the things religion makes people do. Smh.

        • reignman says:

          Not sure why the hostile comment was needed. Take it down a couple notches

          • LeaveAReply says:

            oh no, Orlando City FC have the baby jesus-loving Kaka on their side so its obvious who serving satan here.

          • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

            What was hostile about that comment?

            Calling a snake, a snake and a duck, a duck is hostile? I hope that no one criticizes you personally. I’m not sure you could take it.

            • reignman says:

              He was fairly obviously being sarcastic and hostile in his first sentence so not sure what you’re on about. It doesn’t really matter but I like having actual discussions here, not pure sarcasm and anger that sometimes come in.

      • Ryan SATX says:

        Maybe, but every church I’ve ever been to is pretty desperate for funding. I’d imagine everyone outside of maybe the biggest mega churches would take a deal for more than twice the value of their property. I suppose it could be a principle thing, but it seems like a weird stance to take to me.

        • bb says:

          Well, it could be that the church knows that the cost of available land in the area, plus the cost of building a new church on that land, would be double the value of their current land. That’s not a stretch. And so essentially they’re at break-even, plus have to deal with the hassle of moving. They don’t really expect a 50x value offer. Reignman is right, they just don’t want to move.

          • Scott says:

            Then make that case and put a price on it, plus an adder because you didn’t want to move. Don’t just ask for $35MM because someone else received that much. The property situations and economics are different. Offer me 2x my property value and I need to know what day to be out…and I love my house and neighborhood.

        • reignman says:

          There is an example of a woman in Seattle simply refusing to move even after getting offered 1 million dollars for her property (worth probably 1/4 that) and the development was eventually done around her house. Sometimes people or groups just do not want to move, no matter what the price being offered.

      • wandmdave says:

        wouldn’t they just refuse to negotiate at all at that point so they don’t have to worry about getting hassled about it over and over again?

  9. JayAre says:

    The big business of churches never fails

    • bryan says:

      no joke. by being tax exempt my tax dollars essentially pay for organized religions (any of them) that i don’t support. and now they want the government to pay $35M in tax dollars for land worth $690,000?

      i understand the arguments people make to say tax exemption for churches upholds separation of church and state and prevents a fiscal relationship, but i don’t agree. i side with the argument that this exemption provides a financial benefit and that there is no constitutional right to be exempt. Government is banned from subsidizing religion and tax exemption is a form of a subsidy. i also agree with Mark Twain’s quote in support of taxing churches:

      “no church property is taxed and so the infidel and the atheist and the man without religion are taxed to make up the deficit in the public income thus caused.”

      also, do we know if the land will be used for infrastructure around the stadium to the benefit of the public? i’m sure that’ll come into play when the judge is ruling whether eminent domain can be exercised.

      • Pele says:

        Bryan, without tax exemption churches pay money to the State (the government) and strings become immediately attached. At that point the State officially owns a “State Church” and starts telling churches what doctrine they must believe, what they are required to do, and how they must worship. That’s exactly what has always existed (and still exists) over in Europe. Our founding fathers wanted to set up something different. Have you read the Constitution?

        • bryan says:

          did you even read what i just wrote? i JUST said i see the line of thought for those that disagree, but i still agree with Associate Justice of the US Supreme court, William O. Douglas, in his dissenting opinion in Walz v. Tax Commission of the City of New York.

          paying taxes does NOT make the State an owner, that is some flimsy logic, IMO. it does not require the State to tell a church how to worship. could it happen with abuse of power? sure but it’s an extreme used as a fear mongering tactic. but of course you also just challenged my opinion by asking if i read the constitution. which tells me what i need to know about you. i explained that i side with the argument that says it’s unconstitutional because it actually breaks separation of church and state.

          • Pele says:

            I have a lot of power over you if a simple question can make you flip out like that. Haha, you just made my day. Thanks for that!

  10. Kelly says:

    As much as I want to see Orlando get a nice stadium, and whatever I might think of that church, the use of eminent domain for essentially private purposes is evil in its own right.

    • cabrito says:

      I’m sure there are plenty of other strip malls in Orlando that the “church” can relocate to.

    • CeezNYRB says:

      What makes you think there are only private benefits and not public benefits? Please reason.

      • Kelly says:

        Well, I never did say it was ONLY private benefits, and do recognize that there are public benefits to a development like this. But it is hard to deny that the owners of OCFC benefit greatly as well.

        That said, I do not think it is proper for anybody to be compelled to sell something that they own legally and are using legally. That’s both anti-democratic and anti-capitalist. Why should any outsider be allowed to tell you how much your property is worth to you?

        It remains to be seen whether the church people are simply being opportunistic, or whether they truly want to simply keep their land. I honestly suspect the former, if only because they offered a big price rather than simply saying “no”. I don’t think that really matters in the big picture, though.

        • bb says:

          actually, eminent domain is VERY democratic. just sayin :)

        • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

          I don’t know that an outsider has determined what the property is worth. The FREE MARKET (surrounding community) has determined what your property is worth and 50x the current value ain’t it. Even so, they are allowed to value the land for exactly what they want but surely they know it is out of bounds with reality. So they are cynically asking for something they know full well they will not get.

          That is not dealing in good faith, Their offer is cynical. what is troubling to me as people of faith they should know that this is wrong! It doesn’t make God look good; the church look good or move things along toward resolution.

          Disclaimer: My church is in the middle of imminent domain proceedings for land that we own in North TX and the city is playing hardball. We are somewhat DESPERATE for Cash but we wouldn’t even consider asking twice the value for the land that has already been taken because that is not GODLY. We are asking for compensation for development cost to create alternative access to the land (as the direct access from the Loop is no more) for future use for a children’s home and possibly a retirement home development.

          • 407 says:

            Sounds like the folks down here at the temple would be blessed by a bit of your wise counsel since you’re in the middle of the same scenario. When this story was first reported, the church apparently had wanted help (funding) to pay for moving the whole ministry to a new location, which originally was why the city offered as much as twice or three times the appraised value. It seems now like the church wants more than that, but are a bit less than savvy in their negotiating ploy, so they fall back on a “just give us $35 million or we’ll cover our ears and go la-la-la-la-la” gambit. Sadly, IMO, it’s likely that that approach is going to get them ED’d out of their property and soon.

    • wandmdave says:

      pretty much in the same boat. I support eminent domain for the right reasons but despite my love of soccer and ardent desire for it and MLS to grow and spread I have trouble justifying eminent domain here.

      Why do land negotiations always have to be so contentious and political?

  11. 407 says:

    My post from several minutes ago seems to have disappeared.

    To re-clarify: the negotiations are solely between Orlando (the town) and the church.

    The soccer club (Orlando City SC) have no part in the negotiation between the church and the municipal government of Orlando.

    For example, this line in the third paragraph is explicitly incorrect: “…but Orlando City offered $1.5 million.”

    The city of Orlando owns and controls this situation. The soccer team has no part.

    • bb says:

      Ohhh. I didn’t see your earlier post. If it’s the city who are doing the negotiations, then that would help them in an eminent domain attempt. I don’t think a court would force a sale to another private entity in this situation. But if it’s the city trying to get the land, it’s practically a done deal.

  12. Tony in Quakeland says:

    What’s next for MLS? A landgrab at Vatican City?

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Reading Comprehension. The City of Orlando (Not the soccer team) is seeking eminent domain.

    • Increase says:

      The Rome Wolvessss! Your New Major League Soccer team!

      Would the mascot have the wolf nipples though?

  13. John says:

    the 1.5 Mil is tax free. They can build a bigger better temple with more land. No brainer.

  14. 407 says:

    Other details not included in Panizo’s report: in 2006 the downtown Methodist church sold a larger chunk of land to the city for $35 million. That was 2006, which means at the very height of the real estate bubble last decade. Plus, the land was larger and more valuable because it was right in the heart of downtown, whereas this other church in the way of the soccer stadium is several blocks west and outside of the downtown core. This church heard the other church—eight years ago!—asked for and got $35 million, so they seem to have assumed that is some sort of going rate for churches selling land to the city government, as absurd and naive as that is.

    This temple has every right to ask for the best price they can get, but they have already shown they are in way over their heads and are ruining their negotiating position with the local government.

    Reminder: the local government (city of Orlando) will own the stadium. The soccer team is not dealing with the temple.

    • Gerard D. says:

      Also, burning their position and good will.

      City doesn’t have to negotiate by law. They’re clearly trying to make a good will gesture by offering so much above market.

  15. Timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Can a city transfer land via eminent domain from one private owner to another? The US Supreme Court has already said yes. Go read about Keno vs. City of New London. Crazy what govt can do sometimes…

  16. Matt b says:

    I’d be more sympathetic if it was a tax paying business

  17. TGA says:

    go on google earth…the neighborhood is abandoned…empty buildings or empty lots. the church shud grab the money and merge with the church a block away.

  18. user222 says:

    just give the church 35 Million you cheap bastards…

  19. bottlcaps says:

    As someone who has worked on eminent domain takings as a city planner, this is a normal ploy.
    You shoot for the moon on your asking price in hoping that the judge will contemplate a higher price that the 1.5 mil offered.

    The only thing wrong with this ploy is that you (under oath, in court) have to JUSTIFY your 35M price tag. Judges s know when parties are greedy, but they also know the asking price is a ploy. The valuations are st on the current land price, the cost of setting a new place AND goodwill. Goodwill is the “X” factor and is commonly a value that is intrinsic. A long time business at a location it has serviced for decades may lose substantial business if it were to locate
    Fixing a goodwill price on a church, which sells not merchandise but “redemption” is hard, but not impossible. I expect the Church to get another $500K-1 million on top of whats offered. Another issue is who is to pay whose lawyer fees when its all over.

    • Joamiq says:

      Thanks for this post; this is informative. I think another $500k-1mil above the current offer is perfectly fair, and if that’s where this ends up, both sides should walk away satisfied.

      • 407 says:

        Funny thing is, all parties would just about end up close to where they began. If the church is given the $690k for the appraised value of their property, plus another approx $690k for their relocation and related expenses, and then another $500k to $1 million for goodwill, etc., the church’s final haul will end up right at the doorstep of $2.2 million, which is to say the roughly 3x appraised value the city offered several months ago.

  20. Joamiq says:

    The church is being really stupid here. I am very sympathetic to the notion that it’s not fair to push someone out of their property if they don’t want to leave. But even aside from the fact that the team and stadium will be privately owned, there’s a pretty obvious public benefit argument for a pro sports team. Eminent domain is a very tricky mechanism that is abused all the time, but I think this is a situation where on the balance, it makes sense to use it. The church probably could have negotiated their way up to $2m, maybe even a tad higher, and I think that would have been a fair deal for both sides. Now due to their stubbornness they could end up with something closer to the appraised value. Just not smart.

  21. dfybaby21 says:

    Wouldn’t hurt some people to brush up on the history of eminent domain, starting with Berman v. Parker. Absolutely nothing wrong with using eminent domain in a case like this. Even Earl Warren would agree.

  22. RK says:

    This is exactly what happened in Atlanta with the new NFL/MLS stadium.

    It’s called “negotiation”.