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Crews drying out ‘neglected’ Stott building after flood

George Hunter and Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Crews scurried in and out of the iconic David Stott building Wednesday after a reported pipe break flooded the structure with water that spilled onto the sidewalk outside.

The pipe broke earlier this week around the ninth floor of the 38-story building at Griswold and State, and flooded the building’s bottom two floors with a reported 2 million gallons of water.

According to the building owners, DDI Group, a security guard left the building around 7 a.m. Sunday and the first person to arrive around 8 a.m. Monday discovered the flooding.

“Remediation crews were onsite by early afternoon on Monday, beginning the clean-up and restoration process,” Kenneth M. Creighton, senior vice president for DDI Asset Management LLC said in a statement Wednesday. “It is not yet confirmed what caused the flood, and an insurance investigation is ongoing; yet it seems it may have been the unfortunate result of a frozen pipe thanks to the recent record-cold temperatures.”

The group purchased the building in October 2013 and “has maintained it in good standing with the City of Detroit since then,” Creighton said.

In addition to building security the group has a full-time building engineer and maintenance staff, according to Creighton.

The building has two tenants, a local creative agency that the owners are helping to relocate during repairs, Creighton said. The other tenant is Sky Bar, which Creighton said is “subject of a previous court-ordered eviction action, yet has been granted temporary tenancy pending an appeal.”

Earlier Wednesday workers and equipment from Signal Restoration Services of Troy pumped water from the building. Yellow pylons and netting blocked off the sidewalk along Griswold.

Equipment from Taylor-based Propane Services, which included large tubes that ran from hulking propane tanks into the building, kept workers warm and prevented ice from forming, a company spokeswoman said.

One man working nearby said the sidewalks had iced over, but by Wednesday morning it had melted, apparently helped by bluish-green crystals that covered the ground.

Detroit Water and Sewerage Department spokesman Gregory Eno said the city agency was not involved with the incident.

“That building has been neglected,” Eno said. “We checked with our maintenance and repair people, and it had nothing to do with DWSD. It’s a private matter.”

When asked why water was running inside the empty building, Eno said he wasn’t sure.

Crews outside the building Wednesday were tight-lipped. When one man, clad in a hard hat, was asked if a supervisor was available, he said: “I think they’re all in a meeting right now in a hotel someplace.”

A man who walked out of the building with handcuffs and a flashlight affixed to his belt identified himself as a security guard for the building but wouldn’t discuss the incident.

Two men and a woman dressed in business attire huddled in the middle of Griswold Street. When asked if they had anything to do with the building, one of the men said, “We’re involved but we have no comment at this time.” The three then walked away.

The art deco-inspired David Stott building, built in 1929, is owned by DDI Group, a Chinese firm that bought it for $8.95 million in 2013.

ghunter@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2134

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