Real Estate Attorney Advice for Minneapolis Property Owners on the Bottineau Light Rail Line

Is your property in the path of the Bottineau Light Rail line? 

The north metro Bottineau Light Rail Line (Bottineau LRT) passed a major milestone in January 2017, securing approval from the Federal Transit Administration to move into the construction phase of the project. Minneapolis property owners in the path of the Bottineau Light Rail Line will need some eminent domain real estate attorney advice in the near future.

Is your property in the line of fire?

The new line is scheduled to start operating in 2021, and over the next four years, residents of North Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park will put up with noise, dust, delays, and traffic. But dozens of property owners will face something much worse: losing all or part of their properties to the light rail line and accompanying road expansions.

A Bottineau LRT Update

The Metropolitan Council has created a video describing the proposed path of the Bottineau LRT. Watch this video to discover if your property is in or near its path.

In January, the federal government approved plans for 13 miles of track between North Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park that generally follows the freight line path through North Minneapolis, Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale and Crystal. The project is on track to move from the current engineering phase to construction, expected to begin in 2018.

Bottineau LRT and Property Values


Proponents of the light rail line cite national and local studies indicating light rail and similar transportation projects stabilize or improve property values in the long term. Homes along the Hiawatha Line increased in value between 2004 and 2007 after completion of that line.

But such results are never guaranteed, and there is no certainty that property values along the Bottineau LRT will increase (or that they won’t). We do know, however, that dozens of property owners will be approached by the government to forfeit all or part of their residential or commercial properties to make room for road expansion and the new light rail line.


Don’t Assume the Government’s First Offer Is Its Final Offer

If your property is in the path of the Bottineau LRT, expect to be approached by government appraisers (if you haven’t been already). They’ll come armed with a plat of your property, a plan to seize all or part of it, and an offer of fair market value for the property they are claiming.  The government will be represented by its own consultants, appraisers, staff and attorneys when it comes to take your property.

It may seem like the government has its offer all buttoned up, but don’t assume their first offer is its final one. You have the right to negotiate just compensation for property the government seizes, which may be more than fair market value.

If you suspect the government may come calling to seize your property for the Bottineau LRT or another transportation project, it’s time to seek the advice of an eminent domain real estate attorney.  I can help you negotiate just compensation for your property and understand your rights under the laws of eminent domain. 

Jon Morphew