Hiatt Printing Holds Ground Against Ball State University

Chris Hiatt points to the university seeking eminent domain powers for his shop.

MUNCIE, IN—Ball State University (BSU) has encountered a road block in its quest to construct a $25 million complex with a hotel, conference center, restaurants and housing for hospitality and food management students: Hiatt Printing, which refuses to budge. Now, the school wants eminent domain power to seize the printer’s property, which promises to open the door to a legal battle.

The Star Press reported that BSU says it has spent more than a year engaged in “good faith” negotiations with owner Chris Hiatt, but has since filed a court action against Hiatt.

The dispute will go to mediation next month, the Star reported. If that negotiation isn’t fruitful, the university will try to convince a court that seizing the property through eminent domain will benefit the public.

BSU reportedly offered Hiatt $400,000 for the building, which has second-floor apartments in addition to the shop space—which it says is $40,000 more than fair market value based on third-party appraisals. Ball State also offered several additional financial incentives, the Star said.

“Nothing has been offered to Hiatt Printing that doesn’t render it worthless and assure its ultimate demise,” Hiatt responded, adding that he has engaged his own legal counsel.