Judge transfers title to transit center property to Troy
The Troy Transit Center could finally open this fall after a judge’s ruling, city officials announced Friday.
Oakland County Circuit Judge Leo Bowman issued an order transferring to Troy the title to the land on which the multi-modal facility sits. The order requires the city to pay $1.05 million — the appraised value of the 2.7-acre property near Maple and Coolidge Highway — to developer Grand/Sakwa Properties, which owned the surrounding shopping center.
“It’s a positive step for us,” Troy Mayor Dane Slater said Friday. “We’re getting an opportunity to open the transit center, which we’ve been waiting a long time for.”
The city is expected to meet with Grand/Sakwa in the next 30 days, he said. “It’s our intent to try to open the center as soon as we can because it is so important to the city and region.”
Attorneys representing Grand/Sakwa did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday night.
Troy partnered with Birmingham on the transit project in 2000, when Grand/Sakwa donated the land with the condition that the money for the center be secured by 2010. Birmingham later backed out.
The city secured an $8.4 million federal grant but the developer said it was not acquired before the 10-year deadline, meaning the land reverted back to the developer.
The city offered to pay $550,000 for the site. That amount came from a 2010 appraisal of the land before the transit center was built.
Although the court case was not finalized, the Troy City Council in January 2012 approved a scaled-down version.
The 28,000-square-foot center was completed last fall, intended to replace the Amtrak station across the tracks in Birmingham. Amtrak officials said the rail line couldn’t sign a lease with Troy until the city owns the property.
In May 2013, the court of appeals granted the reversion of the parcel. Troy initiated a condemnation case, allowing the city to purchase the parcel, officials said. In April, the council approved a measure to offer more than $1 million.
The facility will offer passenger rail service, regional bus routes and taxi services. “We always have felt that the Troy Transit Center is part of the overall picture for the transportation issue in the metropolitan area,” Slater said.