BY KEN MARTEN
The sound of tumbling bricks was almost drowned by cheers from the folks gathered in the parking lot. Wrecking crews began the demolition of the Select Inns on 11 Mile near downtown Sept. 2.
[Said] Oakland County Prosecutor Dave Gorcyca, a former Royal Oak city commissioner. “This is a culmination of a 10-year battle to eliminate one of the last blights in the city of Royal Oak,” he said. “As a result of the elimination, they’re going to create a new development that will result in a half-million dollars in property tax revenues.”
Gorcyca attended the morning demolition party and preceding press conference hosted by Morningside Group, the development company that will build a six-story condo complex on the site dubbed SkyLofts MarketSquare.
Morningside also built the SkyLofts condos on Main and the MainPlace shopping area.
Former city commissioner Laura Harrison also attended, in part to celebrate a personal victory. She’s been crusading to get the city motels to clean up their acts or close up for more than 20 years.
“I remember in 1982, I went to the city commission to complain about problems that my neighborhood was having with the Comfort Inn, which was called theHoliday back then,” she said. “In 1993, Andy Prentice and I ran for city commission and one of our biggest issues was the motels. And we won!”
Harrison paid $5 for a fallen brick from the Select Inns, which Morningside is selling as a fund-raiser for the local Boys & Girls Club. City Attorney Chuck Semchena also bought a brick, and removed a room number from one of the motel doors as a memento. The lawyers in Semchena’s office worked closely with the police in their sting operations. They also wrote a special ordinance that provides extra leeway for the redevelopment of motel property.
SkyLofts MarketSquare is a $30 million investment for Morningside. Demolition should be completed by the end of September, with construction starting within a month thereafter.
Click here to visit the SkyLofts MarketSquare website!
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