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Resolution may be coming in Michigan real estate dispute

A three-year-long dispute over a transit center in Troy, Michigan, may finally be coming to an end. According to reports, the publicly funded center has been at the heart of a dispute between Grand/Sawka Properties LLC and the city of Troy. According to reports, the saga began in 2001, when Grand/Sakwa transferred the title on part of the Midtown Square property to the city of Troy. In return, the city has agreed to rezone the area so that Grand/Sakwa could move forward with its development plans on the property.

One of the main components of this agreement was that the city of Troy had to fund the transit center project by June of 2010 or the land reverted back to Grand/Sakwa. According to reports, Troy got together several sources of funding, but the city and Grand/Sakwa disagreed on what exactly "funding" meant. There have also been disagreements between Grand/Sakwa and Troy with regard to the dispute. Other contributing issues that have been named are how the bus routes will affect the shopping center, as well as the operating hours for the transit center.

On April 7, the Troy City Council voted on whether or not it would place an offer based on a $1.05 million appraisal of the site by Allen & Associates Appraisal Group. If Grand/Sakwa agrees to the offer, Troy gets the land back and will likely be able to open the transit center. If the developer does not accept the offer or does not respond, the parties will likely be back in court to address a condemnation lawsuit that was brought on Grand/Sakwa by the city of Troy in December when the developer did not respond to the city's $550,000 offer in November.

This case highlights how important outside factors such as appraisals can have on real estate transaction disputes, and shows how these types of issues can take a considerable amount of time to resolve as the two parties try to reach an agreement. This instance also serves as an example of how crucial it is to make clear every aspect of a legal agreement before signing to ensure that there will be no surprises down the road.

Source: Crain's Detroit Business, "Federal funds, new offer could end Troy transit center dispute" Chad Halcom, Apr. 06, 2014

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