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WESTON, FL-A $19-million judgment has been entered in favor of real estate developer Dr. Harold Dubner in a case involving the South Florida Water Management District’s condemnation of a large tract of land Dubner owned here. The judgment paves the way for the district’s plans to construct a 3,500-acre reservoir in Weston.The judgment was entered by Broward Circuit Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld and ends a three-year-old condemnation case that had been set for an August trial. Dubner had filed suit against the district for allegedly interfering with his development process for the 112-acre property.The property had been zoned for agricultural use. The first thing Dubner, a retired psychiatrist and owner of Boca Raton-based Investors Mortgage Funding Corp., would have done is work to get the land use and zoning changed, says Andy Schuster, an attorney involved in the case. Schuster and Laura Camp, partners in the Miami law firm Brigham Moore LLP, represented Dubner. Elaine James of the West Palm Beach, FL, firm Edwards & Angel LLP represented the district.Dubner had gone to the Weston City Commission to present plans for the property. He was looking to develop a mixed-use project there to include a hotel, offices and distribution centers, Schuster says. The land is located a mile east of US Highway 27 between Griffin Road and Southwest 36th Street.Dubner is a major land owner and developer in South Florida. His projects have included a 960-acre mixed-use project that he developed in Miramar, FL, called Monarch Lakes. This project includes four hotels, several office buildings and 50,000 sf of retail space. Tenants include Delta, Royal Caribbean, Lucent Technologies, Publix and Wachovia. Dubner still owns 150 acres of this development.According to the settlement, Dubner was also awarded $500,000 in litigation costs and nearly $2.5 million in attorney’s fees. The district had offered a settlement of $2.2 million in 1998, an offer Dubner declined, according to Schuster.”Dr. Dubner is entitled to full compensation for the taking of his property, and this property is extremely valuable, both for the district and for private development,” Schuster said in a statement. “While the settlement is more than the district initially wanted to pay and is less than our appraisal, it represents a fair compromise between the parties.”The South Florida Water Management District had to condemn approximately 40 parcels for the reservoir, which is planned to help restore the Everglades and protect Broward County’s future water supply.

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