(Crystal A. Proxmire, Jan. 13, 2017)
Pontiac, MI – Years of lawsuits and a structure going unused may be coming to an end as the City of Pontiac moves forward with the sale of the Phoenix Center. At Thursday night’s City Council meeting officials agreed to sell the amphitheater and parking deck to Australian-based software company BoonEx at a cost of $3 million dollars. BoonEx is also purchasing the adjacent Ottawa Towers property.
The agreement also puts an end to years of lawsuits between the City of Pontiac and Ottawa Towers, with all parties agreeing to end litigation. The Phoenix Center had been slated for demolition by the former Emergency Financial Manger, who claimed that it was damaged beyond repair. Ottawa Towers is connected to the center, and they sued to have the condemnation reversed and for damages should the structure be torn down.
Councilperson Kermit Williams wanted to be clear with the public that decisions regarding the Phoenix Center had been made by the Emergency Financial Manager without permission of the Council. “This is the first time that we as Pontiac City Council has had an opportunity to weigh in on the Phoenix Center in any way,” Williams said. “The City consistently lost in every step of this litigation, so we’re on the hook for almost $25 million if this sale does not go through…Every dollar that’s been spent in litigation was not what the Council has approved…This particular property was taken out of purview of influence and any rights to vote on it, so these decisions that were made to lose these lawsuits were not done by your City Council, by your elected body, because of the Emergency Manager Law and the subsequent orders that followed from it.”
For previous stories on the Phoenix Center, see https://oaklandcounty115.com/?s=phoenix+center.