Regents of University of Minnesota v. Irwin

Decision Date27 March 1953
Docket NumberNo. 35644,35644
Citation57 N.W.2d 625,239 Minn. 42
CourtMinnesota Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court.

1. Where property is taken for public use in condemnation proceedings, any evidence is competent and any fact may properly be considered which legitimately bears on the market value of the property. Where it is apparent from the record that because of the particular location of the property condemned there had been almost continuous rental demand for rooms in the house located thereon, it was error to refuse to admit evidence of the rental value of the rooms.

2. The court did not err in allowing evidence of salvage and investment value under the facts and circumstances of the instant case.

Chapman & Chapman, Minneapolis, for appellants.

J. A. A. Burnquist, Atty. Gen., Joseph J. Bright, Asst. Atty. Gen., for respondents.


The opinion filed November 21, 1952, is hereby withdrawn, and the following opinion filed in lieu thereof.

Appeal from an order of the district court denying appellants' motion for a new trial.

The material facts are briefly as follows: The regents of the University of Minnesota, referred to hereinafter as the regents, instituted condemnation proceedings to acquire certain real estate described in the pleadings. Appraisers were appointed, and an award of.$23,500 was made to appellants, referred to hereinafter as the owners. The regents appealed from the award, and the matter was tried in the district court of Hennepin county. The jury returned a verdict of $15,000 in favor of the owners, who moved for a new trial. The motion was denied, and this appeal was taken from the order.

The only questions raised by the owners on appeal are:

(1) Did the trial court err in refusing to admit evidence pertaining to the rental value of the individual rooms of the premises involved?

(2) Did the trial court err in allowing evidence of salvage and investment value to be submitted?

The property, situated at 519 Washington avenue southeast in Minneapolis, was purchased about 1919 by the deceased husband of Lida A. Smith, one of the owners. The premises consist of the following: A site 38 feet wide and 132 feet in depth fronting on Washington avenue, without an alley to the rear but with a right-of-way easement across the adjoining property; a stucco and metal lath house built about 1910, 24 feet wide and 34 feet in depth, consisting of a dining room, kitchen, living room, one bedroom, and a porch or sun parlor on the first floor, four bedrooms and a sleeping porch on the second floor, and a small three-room apartment on the third floor, which can only be reached from the inside. There is a full basement under the house with a hot-water heating plant and stoker located therein. Also located in the basement is an air-conditioning unit which serves the third floor. To the rear of the property is a two-car garage. The record shows that the house is basically sound but that it is in need of repairs. It further appears that the house located on the premises has been partially used as a rooming house; that three of the owners of the premises, Lida A. Smith and her two sons, Chester and Kenneth, occupied the first and third stories of the house as their home; that Kenneth operated a sewer-cleaning business from the premises, with a telephone in connection therewith; and that he manufactured some sewer caps in the basement. The property is within a block of the university medical school and is also near the academic campus in a commercial-zone neighborhood and in a district classified more or less as a rooming-house area. It also appears from the record that during the 32 years that the Smiths owned and occupied the premises they had few, if any, vacancies in the rooms which they had for rent, except for the normal period of time which it took for one tenant to move out and another to move in; that the highest beneficial use to which the property could be put was that of a rooming house occupied by the owners and operators; and that the property was peculiarly adapted for that purpose because of its close proximity to the university campus.

1. It is the position of the regents that there was no error on the part of the trial court in excluding evidence of the gross income from the rental of the rooms. They point out that, pursuant to a stipulation between the parties, one witness testified for the owners that the customary process of renting rooms on the university campus consisted of the owner of the property renting out a furnished room and furnishing the linens, beds, and personal property necessary to make up a sleeping room, together with heat and electricity, use of telephone, and such labor and other personal services required to keep the room in a livable and clean condition. When this witness was asked to express his opinion as to the rental value of each of the rooms as of January 20, 1951, the date of the award of the commissioners, the question was objected to and the objection was sustained by the court. The owners then made an offer of proof to the effect that if the witness had been allowed to testify the testimony would have been that the rental value of the second and third floors of the condemned premises was $230 a month. It is the contention of the regents that the question before the jury was not what the second and third floors, or any of the rooms of the condemned premises, were worth on the market, but rather what price a buyer would be willing to pay for the entire property. They conclude that it was therefore not error for the court to sustain an objection to the question which they claim related to only a part of the condemned premises.

We cannot agree with the reasoning of the regents in the case at bar. The premises are located along Washington avenue, close to the university medical school and to the campus in...

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9 cases
  • State by Mondale v. Gannons Inc.
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • 19 August 1966
    ...bears on the market value of the property. State, by Lord v. Malecker, 265 Minn. 1, 120 N.W.2d 36; Regents of the University of Minnesota v. Irwin, 239 Minn. 42, 57 N.W.2d 625; State, by Lord v. Red Wing Laundry & Dry Cleaning Co., 253 Minn. 570, 93 N.W.2d 206. 1 The landowner cannot claim ......
  • Housing Authority of City of Little Rock v. Rochelle
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • 23 November 1970
    ...a matter that would be considered by a prospective purchaser in estimating the market value of the premises. Regents of University v. Irwin, 239 Minn. 42, 57 N.W.2d 625 (1953). It has been said that, when property is rented for the use to which it is best adapted, the rent capitalized at th......
  • Housing and Redevelopment Authority for City of Minneapolis v. First Ave. Realty Co.
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • 19 February 1965
    ...the income which was being derived from the property when subjected to legal condemnation is relevant. In Regents of University of Minnesota v. Irwin, 239 Minn. 42, 57 N.W.2d 625, we indicated that such evidence was admissible provided any fictitious or fanciful income was In regard to the ......
  • State v. Casey
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • 8 June 1962
    ...upon the question of the market value of the property. Conan v. City of Ely, 91 Minn. 127, 97 N.W. 737; Regents of University of Minnesota v. Irwin, 239 Minn. 42, 57 N.W.2d 625. With these rules in mind, it is difficult to see why the closing of Mapco's tunnel would not be compensable under......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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