Eminent Domain E-lert -- GrayRobinson Represents Gulf Coast State College on Florida Department of Transportation US98 Flyover Project

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) determined a flyover was necessary in Panama City creating the US98 bridge and flyover project which took the busiest road through Panama City and elevated it to enhance traffic flow. For the bridge and flyover project, FDOT was going to take 4.9 acres which included 436 parking spots from GrayRobinson’s client, Gulf Coast State College. FDOT initially offered $5,339,200.

GrayRobinson attorneys Kent Hipp and Tracy Marshall worked with referring local co-counsel William Harrison and Beau Rivard and College General Counsel Derrick Bennett on this project. GrayRobinson assembled a team of experts including appraisers, engineers and land planners who specialized in college campuses, to analyze every potential impact the college might incur after the FDOT only identified the lost parking as an issue. After the analysis, the GrayRobinson team determined that FDOT was taking the "front door" to the college which required re-orienting the college’s new main entrance which required:

  • A new internal acess road;
  • New driveways on other roads;
  • Traffic signal installations at new driveways;
  • A new 3 story parking garage;
  • Modified and additional surface parking along the new internal ring road; and
  • GrayRobinson ultimately recovered $13,750,000 plus six surplus properties from FDOT which the College will use in the future.


As is the case in all eminent domain matters in Florida, the condemning authority is required to pay reasonable attorneys' fees and expert's fees. So, in this case, all fees were paid by FDOT and Gulf Coast State College did not pay out of pocket for any legal or expert fees.

Subject Property and Project

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Kent L. Hipp
301 East Pine Street
Suite 1400
Orlando, Florida 32801
Phone: 407-843-8880
Fax: 407-244-5690

Tracy A. Marshall
301 East Pine Street
Suite 1400
Orlando, Florida 32801
Phone: 407-843-8880
Fax: 407-244-5690