ORC has worked on several projects for Madison County Transit (MCT) to support the Troy-O’Fallon bike trail system expansion project. MCT was designated as the local lead agency for these projects and hired ORC to oversee much of the real estate work. ORC’s role included project management, title work, valuations, acquisitions, closings, and eminent domain support, including expert testimony. ORC subcontracted and managed the title companies/appraisers. As part of the project management, ORC also coordinated with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the projects’ designated state-level lead.
The projects involved acquiring real estate rights from several different types of properties including farm land and residential. Many of those from whom property rights were needed did not want a bike trail adjacent to their property, so therefore initially showed disinterest in selling at any price. However, ORC was able to reach settlements on most of the properties. In addition, some of the properties presented title issues requiring ORC’s extensive research, coordination, and negotiation to enable owners to deliver clear title upon the sale.
In addition to bike trail project work, ORC also provided real estate acquisition services for other District projects to improve or expand their transit facilities. One such project involved acquiring and relocating a banking operation for a bus facility. For this project, ORC provided project management, title work, valuations, negotiations, relocation assistance, and closing. ORC directly provided project management, negotiations, and relocation assistance while simultaneously managing subcontractors who provided title work, appraisals, appraisal reviews, and closings.