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ROYAL OAK, MI-John Vincenti, president of Tri-Mount Construction, blames the city for slowing the finish of the Main Street Centre condominiums, once part of a $60-million mixed-use development that failed due to lack of financing. The city commission is holding $640,000 from the company until the project is done, Vincenti says.

The company built 118 condominium units between 1998 and 2000, and all were sold out as of late last year. However, the company has not finished the landscaping or paved the parking lot for the condos, located on both sides of Main Street, south of the popular Downtown area.

Tri-Mount was also supposed to build an office building, a hotel, a conference center and underground parking on an eight-acre parcel just south of the condos. However, the company ran out of funds, and could not entice a hotel chain to the project.

The city bought back the property, located at the intersection of Woodward Avenue, I-696 and Main Street for $900,000. To make sure the company completed the condos, however, the Downtown Development Authority voted to hold about $190,000 from the company, in addition to a $150,000 cash bond, to make Tri-Mount complete the condominiums.

Vincenti called the withholding of his $340,000 illegal.

“It was completely arbitrary,” he says. “We already have a cash surety bond with them for $300,000.”

The city commission voted in June to set a deadline of July 15 to have the work done, or it would keep all of the money. The work was still not done Sunday, but Monday crews were out in earnest finishing the project. Brak Chaklos of Tri-Mount says the project will be completed by Thursday.

Vincenti says the holdup was the city’s fault. He explains Royal Oak held up apermit to install a meter pit for irrigation of the lawns.

“Why would we landscape if we have to install the irrigation system first?” he asks.

Also, the company is resurfacing the parking lot because the first company contracted to do the work did a poor job, he says.

Vincenti says he hopes the city will correct its mistake, and return the $340,000 after the work is completed this week.

Meanwhile, across the street from the condos, Schostak Bros. of Southfield is erecting an office building, hotel and parking garage for about $95 million. Schostak is paying the city $4 million for the land.

Vincenti had asked the city to reconsider his original $60-million proposal, but it was rejected.

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