Troy council approves transit center lease with Amtrak
The controversial, long-delayed Troy Transit Center could open in the next 30 days after the City Council approved a lease agreement with Amtrak.
"We're very pleased to take the next step in the process," Troy Mayor Dane Slater said in a statement Tuesday. "I'm excited that we are on schedule for the transit center to open in the fall."
Council approved the lease in a unanimous vote Monday night, the city said.
According to the terms of the lease, the city will be reimbursed for all operational costs and maintenance expenses. The initial lease is for 20 years, with a 10-year option to renew.
It's the latest step in a long process for the city.
Last month, Oakland County Circuit Judge Leo Bowman issued an order transferring to Troy the title to the land on which the multimodal facility sits. The order required the city to pay $1.05 million — the independently appraised value of the 2.7-acre property near Maple and Coolidge Highway — to developer Grand/Sakwa Properties, which owned the surrounding shopping center.
Troy was deeded the transit center parcel in 2000 as part of a negotiated court settlement that granted an intense mixed-use commercial and residential development not allowed by the city's zoning ordinances, officials said.
Grand/Sakwa donated the land with the condition that the money for the center be secured by 2010. Troy secured an $8.4 million federal grant but Grand/Sakwa 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 approved a scaled-down version of the transit center in January 2012.
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 had title to 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.
Once open, the transit center is expected to offer passenger rail service as well as regional bus routes and taxi services.
"As an important regional hub, it will strengthen existing transportation options in the metro Detroit area," city officials said in a statement.