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Des Moines lot sold to federal government for new courthouse

August 24, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines realty company says it has reluctantly sold prime riverfront land to the federal government under threat of having the land taken through eminent domain.

Hubbell Realty Co. told the Des Moines Register on Friday that it has entered a purchase agreement with the General Service Administration for the former Riverfront YMCA land.

The federal government announced earlier this month that it planned to build a $137 million federal courthouse on the site. A day earlier, Hubbell had said it would build a $75 million, 115-unit condominium complex on the 2-acre site — a move supported by the city.

Hubbell CEO Rick Tollakson says the government previously made an offer for the land that was “not realistic.”

The U.S. government can acquire private land for public use through eminent domain, as long as the landowner is fairly compensated.

Hubbell bought the site in 2016 for $4.77 million. The company declined Friday to say how much the government is paying for the site.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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