State denies tax abatement for Thompson Building

April 17, 2007 by  
Filed under News

(April 17, 2007) The State Tax Commission has denied the Obsolete Property Tax abatement for the beleaguered Thompson Building in Depot Town. The decision was not much of a surprise as the state staff had already recommended a denial.

The reason given by state staff for the denial is because the state statute says that rehabilitation work cannot begin before the district is created. Beal, in previous presentations at City Hall as well as in court testimony before Judge Shelton, had indicated that he had already begun work which would likely void an application for an OPRA.

The Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA) allows the city to create a district in which the city can freeze the property taxes for a certain period of time to encourage the redevelopment of the property. An OPRA was successfully used as part of the rehabilitation of the Kresge Building on Michigan Avenue into loft apartments and first floor retail.

Stewart Beal was asking for a 12 year tax freeze under OPRA which would have amounted to about $2 million. Beal recently held an open house on February 22nd, where many in the community got their first look at the building in years.

The Thompson Building has been the subject of protracted litigation between the city and David Kircher. Both the City and Kircher are appealing to the State Supreme Court the taking and sale of his building by the city. The court has not yet accepted the case.

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