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Troy Council to Make New Offer for Land so Transit Center Can Finally Open

Amtrak won't allow the $6.3 million Troy Transit Center to open until the city has a clear title to the land on which it was built.

The Troy City Council is expected to make a $1.05 million offer for the land on which the Troy Transit Center was built. If accepted, the $6.3 million facility may finally open. (Photo: Dale Murrish)
The Troy City Council is expected to make a $1.05 million offer for the land on which the Troy Transit Center was built. If accepted, the $6.3 million facility may finally open. (Photo: Dale Murrish)

The Troy City Council is expected to vote Monday on a resolution to pay nearly double the amount originally offered for the land where the yet-to-be opened $6.3 million Troy Transit Center was built.

The resolution under consideration would offer $1.05 million for the 2.7-acre parcel of land that Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Leo Bowman ruled in February belongs to a development company, and not the city, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Bowman was the latest in a succession of judges to reach that conclusion. The city has contended it owns the land since 2000

Amtrak officials won’t let the city open the transit center until it has a clear title to the land from Gary Sakwa and his Farmington Hills-based Grand/Sakwa Properties. The previous offer to acquire it was $550,000, an amount based on a 2010 appraisal. The $1.05 million offer under consideration reflects a more recent appraisal.

City officials have locked horns with Sakwa before, in the 1990s when the city tried to block his $100 million complex of stores and condominiums, the Free Press said. A court-ordered agreement signed in 2000 allowed Sakwa to build the complex, but required the city of Troy to build the transit center within a decade.

In May, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that Troy missed the deadline.

If the parties can’t agree, the matter will likely go to condemnation with a sale price to be determined by a judge.

Peter Webster, a real estate attorney and former Royal Oak city commissioner, is negotiating the deal for the city of Troy.

When the troubled transit center finally does it open, it will serve a regional base of rail transit customers arriving by car, SMART bus, taxi and bicycle. Gov. Rick Snyder and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson have both endorsed the project.
Dale Murrish April 07, 2014 at 05:35 PM
Nice article, Beth, but I think you missed a decimal point. It’s a very expensive project, but not $63 M. Also, nice picture, taken last fall… http://troy.patch.com/groups/dale-murrishs-blog/p/olimpiu-apahidean-troy-city-council-candidate
Dale Murrish April 07, 2014 at 05:35 PM
Feel free to use any of the others for future articles… Would appreciate a photo credit, though. http://troy.patch.com/groups/dale-murrishs-blog/p/tom-kuhn-troy-city-council-candidate
Dale Murrish April 07, 2014 at 05:36 PM
Here's another picture of it: http://troy.patch.com/groups/dale-murrishs-blog/p/ellen-hodorek-troy-city-council-candidate
Dale Murrish April 07, 2014 at 07:50 PM
Thanks, Beth! Will link to this article from a blog post soon.

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