TxDOT Will Start Widening the Mixmaster Just as Soon as it Convinces the SPCA to Sell That Esurance Billboard

At the beginning of the year, the SPCA moved out of its 40-year-old digs on Riverfront Boulevard and into a shiny new facility off I-30 and Hampton Road. The move served two purposes: For one, the SPCA had outgrown the outdated Dealey Animal Care Center and needed a larger, more modern space.

But also: "TxDOT came to us, I think it was 2001, and said 'Look, we're eventually going to expand the Mixmaster and wanted to give you plenty of notice," says SPCA spokeswoman Maura Davies.

So the organization sold all its old property on Riverfront, all except for one 1,200 square foot parcel. There's a billboard on it, as you can see above, and the SPCA got some amount of revenue from the company that owns the billboard.

When it came time to give up the billboard, TxDOT and the SPCA talked about what both felt would be a fair price for the plot of land. SPCA apparently wasn't happy with the offer and decided to hang on to the property. TxDOT decided to exercise its right of eminent domain and filed a condemnation suit yesterday in Dallas County district court Court at Law against the SPCA of Texas.

A TxDOT spokeswoman wouldn't comment on the SPCA situation because it's the subject of ongoing litigation but said such suits are fairly common. In every major project, there's always a landowner with whom the agency can't strike a deal. Then things wind up in court.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson