The Clarkchester Apartments and Eminent Domain
On May 25, to protest a developer’s takeover of their living quarters.
The developer, Sansone Group, plans on purchasing the lot of land where the apartments currently stand and combine it with an empty lot next to it to build a Walmart.
Several residents accused the city of Ellisville and the Sansone Group of engaging in the "threat of eminent domain" in order to take over the apartments.
Ellisville Finance Director Don Cary said, however, that there is no such threat of eminent domain.
Cary said all of the property owners of Clarkchester Apartments negotiated directly with the Sansone Group, and thus the purchase of the apartments does not constitute eminent domain.
In addition, the that would go toward each occupant of the apartment from the $1,000 required by law to $2,000. Residents may also chose the Sansone Group to pay for moving costs instead of receiving the cash.
At the end of the day, Cary said, it came down to a decision between the property owners and the Sansone Group—a decision in which the city took no part.
"The property owners (of Clarkchester Apartments) are business people, and as such they do have a right to sell their property if they wish," Cary said.
Writer's note: Since the Walmart development project was presented to the Ellisville City Council in April, rumors surrounding its design, size and effects on the community have surfaced in the comments section of this site, in social media and during public hearings.
In an attempt to clarify what is known, what is a myth and what is unknown about the Walmart development, Ballwin-Ellisville Patch met with Ada Hood, planning director; Bill Schwer, public works director; and Don Cary, finance director, to discuss the project.
Stay tuned for Part 5 of the series.