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Whats going on with Genesee Towers?


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I just saw an article on WJRT.com, you can see it here, about Genesee Towers. Basically, the city is saying the building is a health hazard now and have closed lanes closest to the building including three lanes on Harrison St and all lanes on 1st St from Harrison to the alley behind the building.

What is the deal with this place? Any local insider info to share.

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At this point, i wouldnt even be dissapointed if they just level the damn thing. It may be one of our only 2 tall buildings, but its a POS and a safety hazard. Doze it and put some shorter infill there.

Maybe this is a case where the city could use eminant domain.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Value of Genesee Towers set at $6 million

By Cathy Shafran FLINT (WJRT) -- (12/07/07)--

A multimillion dollar price tag has now been attached to a downtown Flint building the city wants condemned.

The question now is, will the city still want to move on the Genesee Towers given a value that's now pegged at $6 million?

No one on either side of this issue is talking publicly about this issue.

We found out about this through the Freedom of Information Act. The value of the building was set in binding arbitration.

It was a year ago when we reported that attorneys for the building owner, Vijayakumar Vemulapalli, and lawyers for the city had agreed that the city could acquire the building for condemnation through eminent domain.

The only question at the time was the building's worth? What was the fair market price the city must pay to acquire the building?

Originally, the value question was scheduled to be decided by a jury trial. But the two sides subsequently agreed to turn the decision over to a binding arbitrator.

That decision is what we've acquired through the Freedom of Information Act.

The final page of the document indicates that if the city intends to move forward and acquire the building, it would have to pay the owner nearly $5 million for the building, more than a $1 million for a third of the attorney fees and $34,000 to reimburse the expert witness costs.

That comes to a total of $6 million that the city would have to pay for a building that was bought in 1977 by Kumar for $500,000.

A number of questions remain: Can the city appeal the arbitration ruling, is it possible to work out any other deals, and if nothing changes, does the city have $6 million to buy a building that it wants to condemn and tear down?

According to ABC12's Cathy Shafran, it will be over a week

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"Towers" is a generic building name that is widely used all around the country to refer to just one structure. It's more common in residential buildings names, though.

I really don't know about the price. I know the building is in very rough condition, but I have nothing to compare it to.

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I think the property it sits on is worth more without the building on it. I seriously doubt anybody in their right mind would pay $6 million on the open market for that thing. The exterior is falling off, is probably a giant rat colony now and enough asbestos to give all of Flint cancer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can't imagine how any business would want to move into that building even if it is rendered structurally sound and some decent renovations were done on the interior. It has a stark, cold appearance. I'm curious as to what the demands are for class A office space are in downtown Flint. If another office building were to be built with the same or else higher square footage, would it successfully lease all it's space?

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A new tower would definitely be in a better position to be filled than even a renovated Genesee Tower. It's doubtful that it's worth it but what we know is that Genesee Towers, as Wolv just showed above, is not an attractive office building in any regard besides the onsite parking.

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  • 8 months later...
  • 1 month later...

One thing is for sure, if Genesee Towers is to come down any time soon, there will be absolutely no demand for anything even close to the size of Genesee Towers save for perhaps a new corporation coming downtown. On a very superficial scale, if it comes down, now, there won't be anything to replace it that would be anywhere near as tall as the tower. I can't think of a city that's lost its tallest building.

I wish so badly that it was worth salvaging, but even if only half of what is said about the building is true, and given the terrible office market in most Michigan cities, there really isn't any good reason to save it beyond the superficial points. It'd be something if the city and county could get away with making it their new city and county hall, but the voters would never let them get away with something as costly as that.

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