Parkland Hospital's land grab
Eminent domain, the principle that allows government to force a landowner to sell, is usually thought of as serving public purposes. But in the last two years Dallas County's public hospital district has been adventuring in a new version—eminent domain for profit. Acting on a 2008 consultant's proposal, Parkland Memorial Hospital has been acquiring far more land than it requires for its new $1.3 billion hospital building and campus, some of it as far as half a mile from the construction site. The hospital's leaders hope their own new campus and a nearby DART station will drive up the value of some of the land they have acquired, including land taken by eminent domain, creating an opportunity for the hospital to get some needed income—the basic idea behind the 2008 consultant's recommendation.
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