University continues plans to purchase Block 11 units

Some owners, however, are not willing to sell.

Residents of Block 11 near Oak and Fulton streets continue to receive offers from the University to purchase their properties, as the University makes plans to expand clinical and research facilities.

Orlyn Miller , director of the University’s Capital Planning and Project Management, said that while the University is focusing on a Fairview project on the adjacent Block 12, the future of Block 11 is still being discussed.

The University first purchased four Block 11 properties in February 2007, three in April 2008 and one last June.

Previously, Susan Weinberg, director of the University real estate office, said the four lots were slated to be either temporary green space or potential parking space if more properties could be purchased, as reported in an Oct. 17, 2007 Daily article.

Seven more properties remain on Block 11 , and Miller said it is the University’s goal to purchase all of the properties, though it’s not a necessary action.

Not every homeowner, however, is willing to reach an agreement with the University.

Weinberg said the University has not been able to reach an agreement with one of the homeowners, who was first addressed a year and a half ago.

Property owner Paul Poteat said he was one of the first residents to be approached in 2007 and does not want to sell his home, which he’s owned since 2003 and is part of the Campus Outreach program.

“I don’t want to sell,” he said. “It’s a place that our ministry is really centered at.”

He added that a dental fraternity and a church that teaches English as a second language courses are also part of the block and don’t want to sell to the University, either.

Poteat also expressed concern that the University would exercise eminent domain if the residents are not willing to sell.

“It feels funny that the ‘U’ might want to do that,” he said. “To put up a parking lot to remove people from their homes and to take away a fraternity, a church and a college ministry.”

Eminent domain would mean the University would have the legal right to possess the property, while providing only compensation to the owners.

According to Minnesota Statute 137.02, the Board of Regents has the right to exercise eminent domain, if necessary.