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.
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.