Public Invited to Tour Phoenix Center, Sat. Sept 20

Public Invited to Tour Phoenix Center, Sat. Sept 20nicholas-schrock-allstate

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 15, 2014)

The fate of the Phoenix Center in Pontiac is still up in the air as the legal battle between the City and Ottawa Towers, which uses part of the Phoenix Center for parking, wages on.

To help get residents more informed about the structure, Ottawa Towers is hosting an open house on Saturday from 9am to 11am. Visitors will be able to see the structure for themselves.

In 2012 then Emergency Financial Manager Lou Schimmel ordered the structure to be demolished due to high insurance and maintenance costs.  However local business owners say demolition would be a waste since waterworkparking is an issue as business activity in Downtown Pontiac increases.

Currently part of the Phoenix Center is open for parking for those visiting Ottawa Towers and the nearby senior center.

Ottawa Towers sued the City, claiming that if the parking structure were torn down, it would cause $9 in damages between loss of parking and damage to their buildings. The City offered them $183,440 for easement rights.

A website for the tour states that there “has never been any public forum or discussion on the fate of the Phoenix Center.  The City Council of Pontiac has never had a vote.”sidebar01sponsor

It describes the property and the vision behind it, as well as their rational for wanting someone to keep and manage it. “Built in 1980, the Phoenix Center is the realization of the “Pontiac Plan” – a public plaza for public events – festivals, picnics, fireworks, reunions and – music.  There are 2500 parking spaces beneath the plaza, enough for the workers in the two adjoining Ottawa Towers, and the senior residents in the high rise apartments,” the site says. “Today, with parking garages costing over $30,000 for each parking space, the Phoenix Center is an affordable attraction to any company that needs lots of parking for its employees.”

The tours will begin on the south side of the Phoenix Center, in the part managed by Ottawa Tours. The website for the event is

Below is a video made by Motor City Drone Company for those in favor of keeping the Phoenix Center.

Phoenix Center from Motor City Drone Co. on Vimeo.

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