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Almota Farmers Elev. & Whse. Co. v. United States, 409 U.S. 470 (1973)

Almota Farmers Elevator & Warehouse Co. v. United States

No. 71-951

Argued October 18, 1972

Decided January 16, 1973

409 U.S. 470


Before and during the last of several successive leases, petitioner made substantial and permanent improvements that had a useful life in excess of the remaining lease term. With 7 1/2 years to run on the then-current lease term, the United States contracted to acquire the underlying fee and began condemnation proceedings for the leasehold. The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's ruling that just compensation required that the improvements be valued in place over their useful life without limitation to the remainder of the lease term.

Held: In a condemnation proceeding, the concept of "just compensation" is measured by what a willing buyer would have paid for the improvements, taking into account the possibility that the lease might be renewed as well as that it might not. Pp. 409 U. S. 473-478.

450 F.2d 125 reversed, and District Court judgment reinstated.

STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which DOUGLAS, BRENNAN, MARSHALL, and POWELL, JJ., joined. POWELL, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which DOUGLAS, J., joined, post, p. 409 U. S. 479. REHNQUIST, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., and WHITE and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined, post, p. 409 U. S. 480.

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