Parcel acquisition, including eminent domain, is a last resort option. The properties listed for acquisition in the plan have generally not seen a high level of interest from the private sector due to their size and/or the cost associated with redevelopment. Many of these properties are either in poor condition, contaminated, too small in size for new construction, have limited access or have other characteristics that are cost prohibitive for a private entity to see a return on investment. With these problems seen throughout the South Hadley Falls, the SHRA will step in and incur some of the cost of redevelopment, in turn creating a market for these properties once again. It is important to point out that none of the properties to be considered for acquisition in the plan is residential.
The active businesses recommended for possible acquisition were selected in order to change the type of land use of the parcel and/or as a critical step to do parcel aggregation for a public benefit project. The SHRA will attempt to acquire all privately owned properties by negotiated purchase. Eminent domain is a last-resort tool that urban renewal agencies, such as the SHRA, have to acquire private property to undertake a necessary project for public benefit. Private property owners must be compensated at fair market value for their property as well as for relocation expenses associated with any taking. The SHRA will make best efforts to reach an out-of-court settlement agreement with private property owners for their properties in return for a financial benefit package.