Eminent domain has been a hot topic in legal circles since the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Kelo v. City of New London. Issues such as fair compensation, public use, and the role of government in economic development have been discussed widely. The focus of this article, however, is somewhat different. This article seeks to provide a practical analysis for the sensitive issue of eminent domain, specifically for situations in which the government seeks to acquire real property via eminent domain in order to foster private redevelopment. The power to take private property, conferred by the Constitution and reiterated in state constitutions, is nothing short of awesome. Most states provide that property deemed blighted under that state's statutory definition may be taken for redevelopment regardless of whether the proposed use would qualify as a public use. Of course, eminent domain for redevelopment - the taking of unsanitary or dilapidated property to develop that property for the benefit of the common weal - provides a significant benefit to the community. However, the potential for abuse of this power in the name of an enhanced tax base or other economic goals must be weighed against this benefit. Despite the efforts of legislatures to reform eminent domain, the exercise of eminent domain for private redevelopment still confers a concentrated benefit on a few while imposing the costs of such redevelopment on a discrete set of property owners. To remedy this imbalance, and to prevent developers and development agencies from abusing this power, this article proposes that property owners be accorded remedies at the beginning as well as at the end of the eminent domain process. Part II examines the role of blight in eminent domain and suggests redefining blight in concrete terms and providing meaningful judicial review of blight determinations. In Part III, this article discusses the concept of condemnation blight and examines whether a condemnor may be required to pay for the diminution in the property's fair market value - the standard for just compensation, occurring after the declaration of blight and prior to the actual day of taking. This Part suggests that the property owner should be afforded the remedy of seeking damages for condemnation blight to avoid imposing the costs of procedural delay upon the landowner. In discussing these remedies, this article will attempt to suggest practical changes to current Missouri law that will not unduly inhibit redevelopment, nor short-change the property owner.

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