City OKs land purchase to complete road project

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Troy City Council approved a $1.5 million purchase on Tuesday that will complete land acquisition for the Enzor Road Connector project.

“Things have sometimes moved very slowly as we’ve worked to get the final right of way to finish the Enzor Road Connector project,” Mayor Jason Reeves told council members on Tuesday. “We believe this decision exposes the city to the least amount of risk and puts us in the best position to settle our condemnation case.”

The city had sought to acquire about a third of a one-acre parcel of land along U.S. 231 that currently houses an AT&T retail store. The acquisition was needed for right of way for the new Park Place retail development and new road, which will connect Enzor Road to U.S. 231.

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“We needed a partial portion of that property to finish the road,” Reeves said, explaining the city contracted with condemnation attorney Warren Harlong to resolve the issue. “On the advice of our counsel, we discovered there was an argument for a total taking … and we have come to a price that doesn’t expose us to risk.”

Instead of seeking only the right of way, the city will purchase the nearly one acre parcel from owner MSR LLC for $1.5 million. The purchase agreement allows the AT&T store operating lease to remain intact for more than five years, with New Singular Wireless PCS, LLC paying its more than $7,000 a month to the city to lease the property.

“We will take out a loan to purchase the property, but we will cash flow the payment of the loan through the lease payments,” Reeves said. “There will be no impact on the city’s cash flow.”

The council voted unanimously to proceed with the purchase. By purchasing the entire property, Reeves said the city gains an asset “in line” to the purchase price. “If we proceeded with the condemnation, we ran the risk of having costs escalate and finding ourselves having spent a whole lot of money for a little piece of property.”

The solution benefits the city as well as the business operators.

“The city benefits not only in being able to move forward with this project, but in also keeping the business open and limiting our exposure, not only in dollars but also in time,” Reeves said.