George J. Kroculick is co-chair of Duane Morris' Real Estate Practice Group and a member of the firm's governing Partners Board. Mr. Kroculick practices in the area of real estate law with a focus on eminent domain, including just compensation, right to take, relocation assistance and highway access management, as well as land use and land use litigation, and real estate tax relief matters. He has represented clients before local, county and state permitting authorities.
Mr. Kroculick represents private property owners whose property has been claimed for transportation right of way and other public projects. He has represented private sector clients in condemnations of environmentally sensitive properties as well. Mr. Kroculick is listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for real estate law and has written and lectured frequently on issues regarding condemnation law, including relocation expenses, demonstrative evidence, severance damages and the public use doctrine.
Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, Mr. Kroculick is a member of the editorial boards of the International Council of Shopping Centers' publications Shopping Center Legal Update and Retail Law Strategist. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and a member of its Advisory Council and its Policy & Planning Council. Mr. Kroculick is a graduate of Villanova University School of Law and a cum laude graduate of Villanova University.
Represented Sunoco Pipeline, L.P. as appellee before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court in a dispute with the County of Chester, Pennsylvania. After defeating the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction enjoining construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline project on county library property, the county appealed, contending that Sunoco Pipeline was required to secure county permission before changing the construction methodology from horizontal directional drilling to open trench installation; the Commonwealth Court unanimously affirmed the denial of the preliminary injunction.
- Obtained on behalf of the Philadelphia Zoo all approvals for their 683-space parking garage, built at a cost of $24 million.
- Represented a publicly traded realty trust (REIT) in connection with a land use and development application to redevelop a 26 acre site improved with a laboratory facility into a 474,600 square-foot office and innovation campus, which included an underground parking garage with over 1600 spaces.
- Represented owner of a former approx. 211,000 square foot department store building in a condemnation by a city for construction of a new sports arena. The taking and subsequent negotiations were complicated by the unusual ownership structure of the property being acquired: the department store and underlying land were separate parcels having separate ownership. Initially, the city offered $4.3 million for all interests in the property — with $0 attributed to the department store building. The two property owners settled the matter for a total of $12 million, with $7 million being paid to the client, the owner of the department store building.
- Represented a multibillion-dollar self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) in successfully opposing the application of a neighboring property owner to construct a 50,392-square-foot hazardous waste incinerator in Bristol Township, Bucks County, PA.
- Represented an American petroleum and petrochemical manufacturer in obtaining land rights to implement a $4 billion natural gas liquids pipeline project in Pennsylvania.
- Represented a single purpose LLC in the sale of a contaminated 30-acre former General Dynamics site in Woodbridge, NJ to Atlantic Realty Development Corp., which will build a 500-unit, mixed use transit village-style development and arts center called Avenel Arts Village.
- Reduced an Atlantic City casino's taxable assessed value by more than two-thirds – from $543 million down to $165 million – and obtained a $19.5 million tax credit for the casino. The multimillion-dollar tax credit was a combination of cash payments and future credits. The settlement was approved by City Council after property tax appeals and related litigation were filed starting in 2006 in the Tax Court of New Jersey.
- Represented a commercial real estate development and management company in an appeal of a property tax assessment on a New Jersey shopping center. Successful in having the property tax assessment reduced by more than $9.8 million, resulting in tax savings of more than $1 million in the first three years for the client, including an immediate refund of over $529,000 – with the potential for savings of over $300,000 per year in property taxes in the future.
- Re-wrote the township's zoning ordinance, then obtained all township, county, state and federal government approvals for an approximately $50,000,000 project on 53 acres, which will consist of a 32,000 sq. ft. office building, a 32,000 sq. ft. medical center, a 14,000 sq. ft. pharmacy and a 171-unit affordable-housing apartment complex that will cater mostly to seniors. Helped to properly structure the affordable housing component of the development and assisted the client in obtaining $17.5 million in tax credit financing for the project, and $6,500,000 in federal stimulus funds. Assisted in organizing the appropriate non-profit entities for the ownership and development of the project.
- Represented property owner in a dispute with Bank of America over the interest rate earned on condemnation proceedings. The N.J. Supreme Court upheld the Appellate Division's decision in City of Englewood v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., 406 N.J. Super. 110 (App. Div. 2009), denying certification to appellant Bank of America (and solidifying a victory for firm client RD Management d/b/a FBB Englewood, LLC).
- In a property tax appeal filed on behalf of a shopping center owner in Allegheny County, Pa., obtained a 45-percent reduction of assessment after a major tenant declared bankruptcy. As a result of the reduction obtained after a board hearing, annual property taxes decreased more than $152,500.
- Successfully represented major oil company in a partial condemnation of an oil terminal facility. Initially, the condemnor sought to take a 4.5-million gallon storage tank but only after building a temporary roadway system around the site. The original offer was $1,150,000 for the taking. Mr. Kroculick worked with the engineers and real estate professionals of the client and the condemnor to provide a resolution that saved time and money for both parties. Rather than building the temporary road system, the client would rebuild on its own property new tanks, related improvements, as well as new internal roadways and related infrastructure—all prior to the demolition of its original improvements. The condemnor did not have to expend millions of dollars on a merely temporary roadway and the client received new improvements on its own property that allowed it to continue business functions during re-construction. Mr. Kroculick's client eventually received compensation in excess of $6,000,000.
- Represented two major oil companies in the valuation phase of an eminent domain action. Demonstrating the deficiencies in the city's appraisal regarding valuation methodologies with regard to improvements and relocation expenses, Mr. Kroculick helped our clients settle the matter from an initial $3,000,000 offer to a final settlement of $7,150,000.
- Successfully represented a major oil company in an eminent domain action. The client lost a relatively narrow strip of land used for a service station along a state highway, leaving the canopy and pumps close to the road. Mr. Kroculick argued that the taking required a complete raze and rebuild of the site. Unique among the valuation arguments was "total temporary take" damages during the time required to tear down and rebuild the property. End compensation went from an initial offer of $18,000 to a settlement of more than $500,000.
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, J.D., 1983
- Villanova University, B.A., cum laude, 1980
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2005-present
- Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP
- Partner, 2001-2005
- Urban Land Institute, Co-chair, Capital Markets Council, Philadelphia District Council
- American Bar Association
- Committee on Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use Litigation
- New Jersey Bar Association
- Land Use Law Section
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- Real Property Section
Honors and Awards
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2022
- Named to The Legal Intelligencer's 2020 list of Pennsylvania Trailblazers
Philadelphia Business Journal's Best of the Bar: Top Lawyers in Philadelphia - Real Estate, 2020
- Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2008-2013 editions
- Board Member and Case Brief Editor for International Council of Shopping Centers' most widely read publication, The Retail Law Strategist
- Editorial Board, Shopping Center Legal Update, publication of The International Council of Shopping Centers
- Council Member, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce's 3rd Century Initiative ("3ci").
- Quoted, "2022 Commercial Real Estate Vision," GlobeSt.com, December 7, 2021
- Quoted, "Pennsylvania Powerhouse: Duane Morris," Law360, August 2, 2021
- Quoted, "Can Philly Use Eminent Domain to Take Over Hahnemann Hospital for Coronavirus Patients?," The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 25, 2020
- Quoted in "Tax Overpayment Possible in Sheriff Foreclosure Sales," NBC10 Philadelphia, March 12, 2013
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Discussion Leader, "Condemnation Clauses: What to Negotiate - Avoidance of Pitfalls," International Council of Shopping Centers' 2016 U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, Hollywood, Florida, October 29, 2016
- Discussion Leader, "Condemnation Clauses: What to Negotiate – Avoidance of Pitfalls," International Council of Shopping Centers' 2015 U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, October 31, 2015
- Discussion Leader, "Condemnation Clauses: What to Negotiate—Avoidance of Pitfalls," International Council of Shopping Centers' 2014 U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, Orlando, Florida, October 25, 2014
- Speaker, "Outdoor Advertising Legal Settlements," Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Webinar, June 19, 2013
- Speaker, "Standing in Litigation," Outdoor Advertising Association of America Legal Seminar, Washington, D.C., November 16, 2012
- Discussion Leader, "Condemnation Clauses: What to Negotiate—Avoidance of Pitfalls," International Council of Shopping Centers' 2012 U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, Orlando, Florida, October 25, 2012
- Discussion Leader, "Condemnation Clauses: What to Negotiate—Avoidance of Pitfalls," International Council of Shopping Centers' 2011 U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, October 26, 2011
- Featured in "Blackstone to buy almost 600 shopping centers," report on Marketplace, American Public Media Radio, February 28, 2011
- Discussion Leader, "Condemnation Clauses: When to Negotiate—Including Loss of Access Due to Condemnation and Impact on Lease," International Council of Shopping Centers' 2010 U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, Hollywood, Florida, November 6, 2010
- ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference: Eminent Domain and Its Drivers, Catalysts and Generators, Phoenix, Arizona, October 21, 2009
- Speaker, "Presenting Your Case," CLE International's 4th Annual Eminent Domain Seminar, Newark, New Jersey, April 17, 2009
- Speaker, "Eminent Domain and Condemnation" Pennsylvania Land Title Association, Stewart Title Seminar, Philadelphia, November 6, 13 and 21, 2008
- Speaker, "Severance Damages and the Cost to Cure," Lorman Education Services' Eminent Domain in New Jersey, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, March 30, 2006
- Speaker, "Severance Damages," Lorman Education Services' Eminent Domain in Pennsylvania, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, March 29, 2006
- Speaker, "What's Fair About Fair Market Value?" Lorman Education Services' Eminent Domain in New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, March 28, 2006
- Speaker, "Severance Damages," CLE International's Eminent Domain Seminar, Princeton, New Jersey, October 7-8, 2005
- Speaker, "Just Compensation, The Cost to Cure as an Element of Damages," CLE International's Eminent Domain SuperConference, Tampa, Florida, October 7-8, 2004
- Moderator, "Appraisers' Roundtable," Ballard Spahr, Princeton, New Jersey, May 19, 2004
- Moderator, "Appraisers' Roundtable," Ballard Spahr, Voorhees, New Jersey, March 10, 2004
- Speaker, "Tenant Claims," CLE International's Eminent Domain Seminar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 21-22, 2002