The agency overseeing California's high-speed rail project has won permission from a separate state board to begin eminent domain proceedings against eight properties in Fresno that are needed to build the line's initial segment.

The state Board of Public Works approved the condemnations today on the properties, all located in downtown Fresno.

Three of the eight are businesses while five are vacant lots or vacant buildings.

The authority must acquire 381 Central Valley properties to build the first 21-mile segment. It now has permission to seize a total of 10 properties and has contracts to buy another 47.

It has submitted written offers on 166 properties and is in the process of negotiating terms with the remaining property owners.