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STL landlord wins eminent domain case, sort of

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A jury on Wednesday ruled that a development agency underpaid a St. Louis landlord for a building, but the landlord isn't celebrating.

The Garden District Commission used eminent domain to buy 23 of Jim Roos's buildings in the McRee Town neighborhood two years ago.

Roos sued to get more money for one of those properties, saying the $45,000 he got was only half the building's value. He paid $5,000 for the building in 1996.

But the jury on Wednesday only valued it at $50,000. "To have a decision by the jury to award us $50,000 when we've already been awarded $45,000, is not a win for us," Roos said Wednesday.

"It's a long way from what I think absolutely is the accurate value of the property."

The Garden District Commission isn't commenting because of other pending lawsuits.

Roos runs a business and an affiliated nonprofit organization that owns low-income housing in south St. Louis.