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A well-known gathering place in the Mission community may be condemned.
On March 10, about half an acre of land that makes up the Riverside Club Bar & Grill and Special Event Center was the focus of a complaint of condemnation by the plaintiff, the United States of America. The complaint, filed to defendants Johnny and Jennifer Hart, was set in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas McAllen Division.
Johnny and Jennifer Hart, the owners of the Riverside Club, had no comment on the condemnation letter.
The civil action was brought by the U.S. as requested by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, “through the Acquisition Program Manager, Wall Program Management Office, U.S. Border Patrol Management Office Directorate, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, for the taking of property under the power of eminent domain through a Declaration of Taking, and for the determination and award of just compensation to the owners and parties in interest.” The complaint included language that alluded to the construction of the border wall on the area to be condemned.
The plaintiff requested that the property be condemned, and the owners compensated for the land’s worth. According to the complaint, they are seeking 0.501 acres of land.
The complaint also stated that the public purpose for this condemned land is to construct, install, operate, and maintain roads, fencing, vehicle barriers, security, lighting, cameras, sensors and related structures “designed to help secure the United States/Mexico border” in the state of Texas.
If condemned, the surrounding land would still be accessible to the Harts. In the letter, the plaintiff stated that the Harts will be able to get to the land between a potential border barrier/wall and the Rio Grande River via openings and/or gates in the barrier between the westernmost and easternmost marks.
The letter included the “estimation of just compensation” for the land – approximately $436,001.00.
The Riverside Club, located at 214 E. Chimney Rd. in Mission, has been in operation for over 30 years. The center has been host to events of all types, including weddings, quinceañeras, business meetings, fundraisers, company parties and concerts.
According to their website, the Riverside Club has been popular “for locals, tourists, bird watchers and nature lovers who bring their friends, their cameras and their zest for enjoying the food life along the Rio Grande.”