The Phoenix Center and Ottawa Towers
“…. The key issue before the Court today is whether the constitution matters. It does. This factor favors the Plaintiffs.”
– Judge Michael Warren
The Ottawa Towers are two commercial buildings in the heart of downtown Pontiac in Oakland County, Michigan. Purchased in 2008 out of foreclosure, the new owner has spent millions of dollars updating both buildings and bringing them up to code. Currently, employees working in the Ottawa Towers have the opportunity to park in the attached, three-story Phoenix Center Parking Garage. That all can change in a matter of months.
The City of Pontiac, who leases the Phoenix Center from Oakland County, and its Emergency Manager, Lou Schimmel, are seeking to demolish the Phoenix Center, a physically sound parking garage. Schimmel, by law, does not have the authority demolish this property, an act which would create excessive physical and structural damage to both Towers, a lack of safe parking for thousands, and a potential financial loss for the City.
The Emergency Manager, Mayor, county officials and other government actors do not have the right to take property interests and damage the Ottawa Towers without attempting to offer just compensation.