ROYAL OAK, Mich., July 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Royal Oak City Hall suffers another black eye resulting from the ill-conceived City Center Development with the closing of Andiamo Trattoria this weekend. Cantina Diablo, Red Fox and Dixie Moon Saloon also have decided to not renew leases in the city because of the permanent lack of critical parking.
Many adjacent property and business owners sued the city last year because the project lacked proper traffic studies, would be injurious to local businesses while deflating property values and destroying private and public investments.
"The Mayor and City Commission gave $5.5 million in taxpayer dollars, and for $1 the most profitable city parking lot valued at around $2 million, to a private developer," said Greg Stanalajczo, owner of the Sullivan Building on Main Street. "The Mayor, City Commission, City Manager and DDA have been complicit in their corrupt actions and have ignored long-standing businesses in favor of architects, developers and lawyers from outside the city who have pumped thousands of dollars into their political campaigns."
Should the lawsuits prevail, the City Center project will be forced to create a workable site plan, lower costs to taxpayers and provide ample parking for everyone, including the handicapped.
"Closing Andiamo Royal Oak wasn't an easy decision after 19-years in this community, but the lack of long-term parking left me no choice," said Andiamo Group President and CEO Joe Vicari. "Walking from a parking structure a few blocks away isn't a problem during good weather, unless you're disabled or elderly, but in inclement weather businesses are going to suffer, which is why I decided to cut our losses now."
The City of Royal Oak government has wreaked havoc on downtown parking and businesses. Parking rates have increased by 50 percent while more than 500 critical parking spaces have been eliminated. However, for the Mayor, City Commission and select friends and family, parking is free anywhere and anytime, as they have issued themselves parking passes contrary to past administrations.
"Over the past 20 years I have spent millions of dollars and created hundreds of jobs building four restaurants in downtown Royal Oak, but I never could have foreseen the self-serving and corrupt behavior of our Royal Oak government," said Shepherd Spencer, owner of Little Tree Sushi Bar and the Dixie Moon Saloon. "The new office building will consume all the spots in the new deck, leaving none for any other existing business. This has led me to think carefully about the future of my other ventures, as many others have in Royal Oak."
Laura Harrison, a former Royal Oak City Commissioner and handicap parker is equally dismayed at the City. "I can't believe what has happened to the city government I once proudly served," said Harrison. "I, and others, who need accessible and ample handicap parking are blatantly being discriminated against by the current administration. Even with the new parking deck, I'll have a hard time getting around the central business district and so will others with disabilities."
The Take Back Royal Oak Coalition is a group of taxpayers including residents and businesses that want government transparency and to restore responsible government to the City of Royal Oak.
SOURCE The Take Back Royal Oak Coalition