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SAN LEANDRO-The San Leandro City Council has announced its intention to use eminent domain to acquire part of a 5-acre parking lot to build a new fire station.

WP Carey Inc. owns the property, located on the corner of Williams Street and Doolittle Drive in San Leandro. City officials are in the process of negotiating a sales price with the company but have not yet been able to strike a deal.

The city will use eminent domain, a power often used by government agencies to obtain public property, if both parties cannot agree upon a sales price.

The city intends to use the property for public safety; they plan to build a 10,800 SF fire station to dramatically reduce emergency units’ response times. Eminent domain is normally used to support economically depressed areas but in this case, the city believes that public safety is a valid concern.

This may arouse complaints from residents of San Leandro, as the city is currently involved in a lawsuit over its recent use of eminent domain to seize a vacant property and sell it to an auto dealership.

City officials would not state the offer price for the parking lot but have disclosed that they are preparing to begin the legal process to take possession of the lot.

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