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MOUNT CLEMENS, MI-The seven-story yellow Macomb Daily Building in the city has been saved from the wrecking ball—for now.

A Macomb Circuit judge has ruled that the City of Mount Clemens exceeded its authority when ordering the demolition of the nearly vacant 74-year-old Macomb Daily Building in 2002.

The building’s owner, George Adams, says the latest ruling, by Circuit Judge Diane Druzinski, will allow him to try to rehabilitate the structure.

Previous attempts to lease it “as-is” have seen only minor success, with an art studio and a hair salon, as the only first-floor tenants. Adams says rehabilitation possibilities include new loft apartments, senior housing, a tavern, sandwich shop and other retail options.

The ruling, Adams says, also sets the stage for a possible judgment against the financially strapped city that is the seat of Macomb County.

Initially, Adams had sought $2.5 million in the lawsuit over the yellow-bricked structure at Cass and South Walnut. Now he says he’s open to a tax break or something else that wouldn’t kill the city financially.

Mount Clemens Mayor Quinnie Cody says it has not been determined if the city will appeal Druzinski’s ruling. Druzinski said one of the key issues was that a Mount Clemens building inspector Ron Supal had issued a demolition order even though Adams had a report from a structural engineer saying the building was safe.

The Macomb Daily newspaper and its predecessors occupied the building from 1932-94. The paper moved to new quarters on the edge of the city in 1994. Adams bought the building in 1995 and had various plans to renovate it, but says the demolition order stifled interest from developers.

He says he would see who’s still interested. Carolee Schmid, who owns an art gallery in the Macomb Daily Building, says she hopes the ruling inspires renovation. Schmid is one of only two tenants in the building. A court order in 1999 limited occupancy to the first two floors.

“I’m delighted,” Schmid says of the judge’s decision. “I’m hoping it will have five stories of loft apartments and retail shops. I think this is an exceptionally sound building.”

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