Tired of unfinished motels, Fruitport Twp. tell the developer to demolish them

FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – Fruitport Township is taking action against a developer in the Detroit area who left two buildings unfinished.

Near the corner of Sternberg and Quarterline roads there are two gray structures. The buildings, which belong to Stellar Hospitality LLC, were supposed to be motels, but construction was halted after a judicial debacle in 2019.

The problem started with the sale of the old Holiday Inn in downtown Muskegon. In 2013, developer Jon Rooks bought the hotel with the intention of investing millions as he transformed it into the Delta by Marriott. In the contract, Rooks and the sellers agreed to a non-compete clause, which meant that the sellers could not build new hotels within a 14 mile radius for a number of years.

When Rooks found out that one of the vendors was part of the project on Sternberg Road years later, he sued for violating the non-competition clause. A judge ordered Stellar Hospitality to stop construction of the hotels in June 2019.

The buildings have remained unfinished and empty ever since. Passers-by see ragged building materials, broken fences and abandoned lumber on the property.

Fruitport Township says buildings are an eyesore and now wants the developers to take action. At the beginning of this year, the municipality adopted an anti-disease and waste ordinance which allows it to take measures against cars and abandoned buildings.

“You can’t just leave a structure in this environment and this place. It goes against all of our building codes, all of our ordinances and, for the most part, it violates the health and safety of our residents, not to mention eye pollution, ”said Fruitport Township Treasurer , Rose Dillon. “When you walk around there and there’s this wrapper blowing on the road, how dangerous is it if it blew on somebody’s windshield?” “

The township says that Stellar Hospitality can demolish the structures or convert them to something else, like apartments. He says the developers will likely have to start over because the building materials have been in the elements for almost two years. He also noted that developers would have to comply with local zoning ordinances, which limits the types of businesses that can be built there.

The township has sent a letter to the developer and says the developer doesn’t have much more time to respond before the township takes further action.

News 8 has contacted Stellar Hospitality for comment, but did not receive a response on Thursday.

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