While David Schostak had support from his staff, financial backers and local media at the groundbreaking, there wasn’t anyone from the public sector in attendance, Northville Township in particular, the Observer & Eccentric reports.
The relationship between Northville Township and developers has been strained since 2003 when the state of Michigan originally sold the property.
REI and Schostak brought the property for $31.5 million in 2012.
Schostak and Co. and Northville Township were embroiled in a lawsuit that caused a judge to split the 400-acre tract of land into two parcels. REI and Schostak received 82-acres while Northville Township was given the rest of the land, The Detroit Free Press reports.
Schostak and REI argued that Northville was trying to stop REIS’ $800 million project , Highwood, which took developers a year to plan, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.
Developers and township officials met nearly 30 times. Though, township officials approved REIS’ plans, the decision was contingent on certain conditions being met – conditions, which REIS claimed, it had no control over.
“They are blocking a great plan, as submitted, for reasons we just can’t figure out,” said Robert Schostak, co-president of Schostak Bros. & Co.
The 22-acre section of the 82-acre development will feature retailers and restaurants including Chipotle, Granite City Food and Brewery, Rusty Bucket, Sherwin Williams, BurgerFi and Jimmy John’s, Crain’s Detroit said.
Northville Township also has plans to develop the land for recreational use including walking paths, ponds, trails and eventually a $24.5-million fitness center, the Free Press said.
The University of Michigan Northville Center, a 100,000-square foot health care facility, was the built in the first phase of development. More than 700 patients will be cared for daily at the facility, which is scheduled to open this month.