FORT WORTH, Texas (CN) – The owner of an apartment complex across the street from the construction site of the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium in Arlington claims the city’s poor planning unconstitutionally stripped it of its property by blocking access to the building and lowering the property value.
In December 2004, the city and the Dallas Cowboys Football Club Ltd. entered into a master agreement involving the new stadium. The city will own the stadium and surrounding property, and lease it to the team. In return, the Cowboys “have substantial control over most decisions affecting the surrounding area, including traffic control plans, eminent domain targets, and parking considerations,” according to the lawsuit in Federal Court.
Under the Cowboys’ direction, the city began buying out surrounding properties. However, The Enclave at Arlington claims the city never condemned or even offered to buy its property.
“[I]t appears the decision to forego condemnation proceedings on the apartment complex is, at best, poor and negligent planning on the part of the city and Cowboys, or, at worst, a calculated attempt to drive down the fair market value of the apartment complex in hopes of obtaining it at a severely reduced rate in the future,” the plaintiff claims.
The Enclave sits across from the stadium site on Randol Mill Road, the main access route to the building. It claims it is “isolated and exposed to the dirt, damage and debris” from construction, making it “substantially less attractive to current and potential tenants.”
Further, the owner says it anticipates access problems once the stadium opens in June.
The new stadium will seat more than 90,000 people and will host more than just the Cowboys games, according to the lawsuit. It’s purportedly slated for Super Bowl XLV, the Big 12 football championship game and an NBA All-Star game, among others. The city expects most events to draw more than 30,000 extra vehicles to the area.
“Nonetheless, the city currently has no set plan for how to manage this massive influx of traffic and people into the area,” the plaintiff claims. “More specifically, the city has entirely failed to make any plans or give any consideration for how tenants, visitors and even emergency medical personnel are supposed to be able to enter and leave the apartment complex before, during and after events at the stadium.”
The city allegedly intends to shut down Randol Mill Road, thereby blocking the plaintiff’s tenants from the main access point to the apartment building.
Apartment complex owner Enclave Arlington Associates is suing for violations of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment and the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment, and for private nuisance under state law.
Enclave seeks an injunction to preserve status quo – in this case, unfettered access to the building. Its attorney is Stephen Carlin with Greenberg Traurig LLP.
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