For two decades, a successful Minnesota business had to face down the St. Paul Port Authority’s attempt to get their property for a redevelopment project. The Port Authority even tried to skirt around the state’s eminent domain reform law by hyping environmental concerns. Now, however, due to the company’s united opposition, the Port Authority has given up.
From the Institute for Justice press release:
St. Paul, Minn.—In one of Minnesota’s most hotly contested battles over eminent domain, St. Paul-based Advance Shoring Company is now safe from condemnation by the St. Paul Port Authority. Following stiff opposition from the nearly 50-year-old company, its employees, unions and the Institute for Justice—a public interest law firm that battles eminent domain abuse nationwide—the Port Authority decided not to use eminent domain to take the company’s property.
“I’m breathing a sigh of relief for our business and employees,” said Karen Haug, CEO of Advance Shoring Company who met with the Port Authority’s president yesterday. “Since the early 1990’s, the Port Authority has planned to take our property for someone else’s private use. We’ve lived under the threat of eminent domain for nearly 20 years. I’m thrilled the Port Authority has decided not to use its power of condemnation to take our property. Now we can return to running our business.”
For the past 50 years, Advance has built its equipment-leasing business without government subsidies. Its 43 employees, 20 of whom are members of Local 120 of the Teamsters and Local 49 of the Operating Engineers, provide cranes, scaffolding and shoring equipment to construction projects. Advance has played an instrumental role in constructing and restoring of landmarks in the Twin Cities, including the Xcel Energy Center, the Cathedral of St. Paul and Regions Hospital. “You cannot look at St. Paul’s skyline without seeing the contribution that our family business has made,” Haug added.