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 Hudson Valley Property Group, a leading national affordable housing preservation company, in obtaining use variance approvals and site plan approval from the Camden, New Jersey Zoning Board of Adjustment, for purchase and renovation of the landmark Northgate 1 apartment complex, a high-rise residential building with ground-floor commercial tenants hailed as the pinnacle of urban renewal when built in the 1960s but since fallen into disrepair; client will invest $35 million to renovate and modernize the building and improve security, while maintaining its status as a HUD-controlled asset providing affordable housing.
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 and 2023
- Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2008-2013, 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
- 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").
- Co-author, "Pipeline Developers Beware: Third Circuit Disallows Eminent Domain Over State Lands Under Natural Gas Act," Pratt's Energy Law Report, January 2020
Co-author, "Pipeline Developers Beware: Third Circuit Disallows Eminent Domain Over State Lands Under Natural Gas Act," Duane Morris Alert, September 25, 2019
- Case Notes Editor, ICSC's Retail Law Strategist, Winter 2016
- Case Notes Editor, ICSC's Retail Law Strategist, Winter 2015
- Author, "Should You Consider Representations & Warranties Insurance in Your Real Estate Deal?," ICSC's Shopping Center Legal Update, Summer 2015
- Co-author, "New Jersey Extends Permit Extension Act Another Year," Duane Morris Alert, January 7, 2015
- Author, "How Efficient Is Your Building? The Trend Toward Energy Efficiency Benchmarking and Disclosure," ICSC's Shopping Center Legal Update, Fall/Winter 2014
- Co-author, "New Jersey Tax Sale Law Gives Purchaser of a Tax Sale Certificate a Tax Lien on the Underlying Property," Duane Morris Alert, June 30, 2014
- Case Notes Editor, ICSC's Retail Law Strategist, Winter 2014
- Co-author, "Philadelphia Creates Land Bank for City to Sell and Purchase Vacant Property," Duane Morris Alert, January 16, 2014
- Case Notes Editor, ICSC's Retail Law Strategist, Winter 2013
- Co-author, "Pennsylvania Supreme Court Weighs in on Amendments to Pa. Oil and Gas Act," Duane Morris Alert, December 23, 2013
- Co-author, "Philadelphia's Energy Benchmarking Deadline Will Be at Your Doorstep This Halloween," Duane Morris Alert, October 9, 2013
- Author, "The Americans with Disabilities Act's ATM Standards," Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy, September 2013
- Co-author, "New Jersey Enacts Statutory Reforms to Eminent Domain Powers Under Local Redevelopment and Housing Law," Duane Morris Alert, September 11, 2013
- Co-author, "Understanding the Basics of Philadelphia's New Actual Value Initiative," The Legal Intelligencer, March 27, 2013
- Author, Introduction to Section 4, "Exclusive Covenants," Landlord & Tenant Issues, The International Council of Shopping Centers (2013)
- Co-author, "N.J. Superior Court Finds That Condemning Authority Is Not Required to Negotiate with Mortgagee Prior to Initiation of Eminent Domain Action," Duane Morris Alert, February 21, 2013
- Co-author, "Ready or Not, Here It Comes: Philadelphia's Actual Value Initiative Assessments Are in the Mail," Duane Morris Alert, February 15, 2013
- Case Notes Editor, ICSC's Retail Law Strategist, Winter 2012
- Co-author, "Key Calif. Supreme Court Decision for Developers in Resolving Construction Defect Disputes," ICSC Legal Update Alert, September 2012
- "How Efficient is Your Building?" ICSC Legal Update, Summer 2012
- Co-author, "Pa. Legislature Extends Permit Extension Act Another Three Years," Duane Morris Alert, July 24, 2012
- Co-author, "The DOJ's New ADA Regulations and Accessibility Guidelines," Commercial Leasing Law and Strategy, January 2011
- Co-author, "Eminent-Domain Reform Bill Advances in New Jersey State Senate, But Does Not Take a Big Leap ," Duane Morris Alert, October 21, 2010
- Co-author, "Pennsylvania Adopts Legislation Granting Automatic Extension to Development Approvals," Duane Morris Alert, July 12, 2010
- Co-author, "New Jersey Governor Eliminates 'Time-of-Decision' Rule in Favor of 'Time-of-Application' Rule," Duane Morris Alert, May 12, 2010
- Co-author, "Four New Jersey Bills Seek to Change How Government Condemns Real Estate, as U.S. Debate on Eminent Domain Continues," Duane Morris Alert, January 27, 2010
- "To Build or Not to Build: The Myriad Issues Facing Developers with Approved Development Sites in Today's Market," Shopping Center Legal Update, Fall/Winter 2009
- Co-author, "In New Jersey, a Property Owner May Recover Consequential Business Losses for a Temporary Taking," Duane Morris Alert, August 28, 2009
- Co-author, "What's in Your Condemnation Clause?" Shopping Center Legal Update, Summer 2009
- Co-author, "New Jersey Adopts Law Permitting Conversion of Age-Restricted Housing Units to Non-Age-Restricted Housing Units and Modifies Laws Concerning Affordable Housing," Duane Morris Alert, July 8, 2009
- Co-author, "Delaware Governor Vetoes Bill Restricting Use of Eminent Domain," Duane Morris Alert, July 2, 2008
- "Missouri Supreme Court Grants Shopping Center Owner Right to Sue City for Damages Caused by Threat of Condemnation, But...," Duane Morris Alert, June 13, 2008
- Co-author, "Florida Appellate Court Upholds Ruling that Budget Change Does Not Allow a Buyer to Cancel Contract," Duane Morris Alert, June 12, 2008
- Co-author, "California Voters Pass Eminent Domain Reform: Impact Limited," Duane Morris Alert, June 5, 2008
- Co-author, "California to Vote Again on Eminent Domain Restrictions," Duane Morris Alert, March 28, 2008
- "N.J. Appeals Court Provides Property Owners Second Bite at the Apple to Challenge Condemnations for Redevelopment Purposes," Duane Morris Alert, March 6, 2008
- Co-author, "The Importance of Condemnation and Access Clauses in Commercial Leases," Retail Law Strategist, November 2007
- "Nevada Joins National Trend in Responding to Kelo Decision on Eminent Domain," Duane Morris Alert, June 28, 2007
- "New Jersey Supreme Court Limits Application of Blight Designation in Ongoing National Debate over Eminent Domain," Duane Morris Alert, June 22, 2007
- "New York Restricts Use of Eminent Domain by Utilities, Part of National Trend," Duane Morris Alert, October 18, 2006
- "Illinois Latest State to Respond to Kelo Decision," Duane Morris Alert, September 5, 2006
- "Eminent Domain: Know and Assert Your Power," Franchise Times, September 2006
- "California Part of National Backlash Against Supreme Court's Eminent Domain Decision," Duane Morris Alert, May 25, 2006
- "Georgia Enacts Restrictions to Eminent Domain, Part of a National Trend," Duane Morris Alert, May 15, 2006
- "New Jersey Assembly Holds Hearings on Eminent Domain, Part of a National Debate," Duane Morris Alert, April 17, 2006
- "What Kelo Does Not (Necessarily) Change," Retail Law Strategist, February 2006
- Co-author, "Jersey Courts Hold the Line Against Bad Faith Condemnation: Power to Take Cannot Be Used to Achieve Zoning," New Jersey Lawyer, October 2004
- 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