Photo of F. Gale Connor

F. Gale Connor is a shareholder in Miller Starr Regalia’s San Francisco office. Gale has a distinguished practice encompassing many aspects of real property law. He is experienced in eminent domain, commercial leasing, acquisition and disposition of improved and unimproved properties, real estate finance, and litigation of environmental, title, land use, condemnation and inverse condemnation cases. He also serves as special outside counsel for real estate acquisitions for various public agencies.

When property is taken by eminent domain, the owner of a business operated on the property is entitled to compensation for any “business goodwill” lost due to the taking.  Usually, “goodwill” translates into a business’s profitability.  However, earlier this week, the California Supreme Court denied review in People ex rel. Department of Transportation v. Presidio Performing Arts Foundation, C.A., 1st; A145278 which held that a business operating at a loss before the taking may be entitled to compensation for loss of goodwill where the taking renders it even more unprofitable.

Presidio Performing Arts Foundation (“Foundation”), operated a non-profit dance theatre in a leased building located in the Presidio of San Francisco.  The California Department of Transportation (“CalTrans”) moved to acquire, under threat of eminent domain, the building occupied by the Foundation for construction of the Doyle Drive Replacement Project.  The Foundation was forced to relocate to a smaller, more expensive building in a less desirable location.Continue Reading Has the Link Between Business Goodwill and Profits Been Severed?