I'm not sure how I gave the idea that I think that eminent domain involves buying the land at less than market prices (except in cases of corruption). I agree with what you wrote.I do not know where you get what appears to be your concept that eminent domain means you are getting the land at less than market value. That is absolutely NOT the case. Eminent domain means, at least everywhere I have been anywhere near it, you pay at least market value. In fact, determination of market value is a major part of the process. Normally in practice you end up paying somewhat of a premium over what the open sale market value would be. In practice eminent domain is only used with unwilling sellers. Most agencies would prefer to negotiate a price without the need for legal compulsion being used to force the sale. There are a lot of non-highway agencies that have the power to obtain land by eminent domain when negotiations fail, such as utility companies, pipelines, etc. Sometimes it may only be an easement, but there are several agencies that go for fee simple purchase only.