Amtrak Poised to Begin Service in Troy, Mich.

After delays lasting more than a decade and many trips through the courts, the Troy Transit Center is poised to open within a month and become an Amtrak station.

The suburban Detroit facility would replace Amtrak’s Birmingham station on the Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) Wolverine Service route.

The transit center, located at Maple and Coolidge Higwhay, is expected to also serve regional bus routes and taxi services.

The City of Troy was finally able to approve a lease agreement with Amtrak, which had withheld its support until the city had taken ownership of the 2.7 acres of land on which the transit center sits.

“We’re very pleased to take the next step in the process,” Troy Mayor Dane Slater said. “I’m excited that we are on schedule for the transit center to open in the fall.”

Troy will be reimbursed for all operational costs and maintenance expenses. The lease will extend for 20 years with a 10-year option to renew.

The lease approval finally moved along after Oakland County Circuit Judge Leo Bowman issued an order on Aug. 15 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.

The land containing the transit center was deeded to the city 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.

The land was sold to Troy for $1 as a part of a 1999 consent judgment, amended in 2000, that allowed Grand/Sakwa to build a 77-acre mixed-use commercial/residential development, even though Troy’s zoning ordinance at the time did not allow such developments.

Grand/Sakwa agreed to give the land for the transit center provided that the money for the center was secured by 2010. Troy landed an $8.4 million federal grant for the transit center, but Grand/Sakwa said it was not acquired before the 10-year deadline. Therefore, the developer said, the land reverted back to it.

Troy offered $550,000 for the site, based on a 2010 appraisal before the transit center was built.

Despite the court proceedings dragging on, 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 at a cost of $6.3 million. In May 2013, the court of appeals granted the reversion of the parcel. Troy initiated a condemnation case, allowing the city to purchase the land.

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