In Colorado, Judge Awards Dillard's Store Title to City

That eminent domain battle over a Dillard's department store at a mall in Longmont, Colo., came to a head last week, with a circuit judge awarding title of the store to a city development authority.

From the Boulder County Business Report on Thursday:

Boulder District Court Judge D.D. Mallard awarded the title of the Dillard’s Longmont store to the Longmont Urban Renewal Authority last week in the eminent-domain case. LURA is made up of Longmont’s elected city council members. Eminent domain is the legal right of a public entity to take private property after compensating the owner.

Attorneys for Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS) will appeal the court ruling, they said in a court document filed Tuesday.

It's a situation that's been simmering since last year, when the owner of the Twin Peaks MallNewMark Merrill Mountain States, announced an $80 million redevelopment plan for the property. But Dillard's, which owns its own store, had a covenant with the mall giving it veto power on any reconstruction. Talks between NewMark and Dillard's broke down in April.

Among the sticking points was the valuation of the Dillard's store. Now, the parties have created a panel that will decide how much the store is worth, but it appears a jury might still decide how much money Dillard's gets for its store.