Judge says City must pay developer Brad Hoyt $500,000


The developer who sued the City of Minneapolis over a development deal and won has been awarded $500,000. Judge Stephen Aldrich issued the ruling today.

Update: City Attorney Susan Segal issued a statement criticizing the ruling. It is not yet known if the City will appeal the decision, said Charlie Nauen, the attorney who represented the City in the case.

Brad Hoyt, of Continental Property Group, wanted to build a condo tower in Loring Park. But the City said no. Hoyt sued the City and Councilmember Lisa Goodman over the decision, arguing that his rights had been violated. Aldrich agreed that Goodman had made up her mind about the project before she voted on it, and Hoyt won his case. That decision was made in September.

However, the judge did not award Hoyt $23.6 million in damages that he had sought. Instead, he was awarded $500,000 to cover his out-of-pocket expenses and his attorney's fees.

Segal wrote an e-mail to City Pages describing what she found significant about the ruling:

- At the start of the trial, the developer asked the Court to award $24 million in lost profits. The Court rejected this damages claim entirely and agreed with the City's position that the developer is not entitled to any lost-profit damages.

-Instead, the developer was awarded only a portion of the out-of-pocket expenses related to the zoning application and only a portion of its attorney's fees.

-The City disagrees that any expenses or any fees should have been awarded. Such an award is a substantial departure from established law in this area and is without precedent.

"We still believe the court is wrong on the decision is back in December," Nauen said. "But this fits what we saw as the damage claim being hugely overstated."