Kelo Redux: Struggling Malls

The eminent domain case of Kelo vs. New London is seeing new relevance in cities across the country, as empty malls are being classified by locals as blight.

"Many saw that decision as an erosion of property rights. And property owners voiced concerns that other cities might try to seize homes or small commercial properties-even healthy ones-to make way for larger commercial projects that could deliver higher tax revenues. In the wake of Kelo, many states, including Colorado, put in laws banning the use of eminent domain for the purpose of economic development.

But blight has always been an exception. That designation gives cities more power to seize private property. In the case of the Westminster Mall, if the Jefferson County District Court agrees with the city's take it would give Westminster the power to take control of the property and move ahead with its redevelopment plans without the current owner's consent."

The Westminster Mall in Westminster, Colorado, is being eyed by the city as a site for a new transit oriented development, and officials are hoping to seize the struggling mall in the name of economic development and blight removal.

Full Story: Mall Case Shows How Municipalities May Use “Blight” to Evade Post-Kelo Rules


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