Legal Blog

Eminent Domain and Cutting Down Collisions in D.C.

D.C. roadsDo you detest traffic? For those in the Washington, D.C. area, it is a well-known phenomenon. Nonetheless, local governments are constantly working to address the influx of vehicles on the road. Many governments use Eminent Domain – or the ability to take private property for public use (so long as just compensation is paid to a landowner) to facilitate road improvements.

One recent example of the use of Eminent Domain occurred in the District. “Dave Thomas Circle” or the intersection of New York Avenue, NE, Florida Avenue, NE, and First Street NE, has been a source of traffic and collisions in the District for years. In fact, it has been regularly named on the 10-most hazardous intersections in D.C. The source of accidents relates largely to its design – where an active Wendy’s has functioned for years on an island amongst a roundabout featuring several lanes of traffic. Over 80,000 vehicles pass through the area daily.

D.C. will compensate the local Wendy’s for relocation and related costs (as the restaurant will no longer function in the new design). Relocation costs are often part of the government’s payment when seeking to facilitate road projects that impact businesses. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the renovations to the Circle will total more than $35 million.

Feel free to reach out to me to discuss this project or other Eminent Domain questions.


Contact me at or 703.745.1849


Theodora Stringham assists individuals, businesses, and organizations with growing successfully while minimizing liability. Focusing on real estate and personnel needs, Ms. Stringham executes sustainable plans for real estate development and employee matters. She provides comprehensive representation for everyday growth issues, including, but not limited to, re-zonings, site plan approvals, eminent domain/valuation concerns, employment discrimination, and disciplinary issues. Ms. Stringham’s scope of representation ranges from identifying potential liability and providing counseling/trainings, all the way through representation at trial.






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