UPDATE: Dearborn City Council Approves $3.2M Purchase for New City Hall

The city of Dearborn will purchase the ADP building on Michigan Avenue with the intention of turning the space into City Hall.

Dearborn will have a new home for city hall after Dearborn City Council approved Tuesday the $3.2 million purchase of a building for that purpose.

The city will buy the ADP building–located at 16901 Michigan Ave.–which has long been discussed as the likely site for a move. The price of $3.2 million–along with approximately $575,000 in closing costs, holding costs, prorated taxes and building evaluation costs–will be added as an amendment to the fiscal year 2012 budget.

Council President Tom Tafelski, who has consistently , was joined by Councilman Brian O'Donnell in voting against the purchase.

"Our legacy shouldn't be in bricks and mortar," Tafelski said. "It should be in preserving and protecting neighborhoods and changing the downtown areas."

Tafelski added that he felt that it's the "wrong time and place" to move , citing the immediate cost, even as the city faces a looming budget deficit without cutting costs.

Mayor Jack O'Reilly disagreed, stating that the purchase of the ADP building and sale of City Hall was a long-term strategic move.

"We have to look 20-25 years ahead," O'Reilly said, citing mounting costs of repairs needed. "This (current City Hall) building needs $5.7 million in investments. This is $5.7 we won’t have to spend–$5.7 million saved."

City Attorney Debra Walling added that the city is "close to finalizing the letter of intent" to sell City Hall to national nonprofit Artspace, which is looking to transform the space into live-work space for artists.

The letter will identify Artspace "exclusively... as the party we’re negotiating with," O'Reilly said at a meeting in March to approve the letter of intent.

Artspace, working in conjunction with the , intends to turn the building into that could include performance areas, living space and areas for artists to work on their crafts.

Artspace would purchase the City Hall building as-is, and be required to bring it up to code. They also agreed to historically preserve the nearly 100-year-old building. They have not yet secured grant funding that would make the purchase possible.

O'Reilly and several council members said they feel the Artspace project will provide a much-needed boost to east downtown.

"From a progressive standpoint, it’s the right thing to do," said Councilman David Bazzy.

Tafelski said after the meeting that he believes the plan is shortsighted.

"It’s the boy who cried wolf," he said. "We’re saying we’re poor, we still haven’t balanced the budget, but now we’re going to spend $3.7 million."

He added that Artspace seems like a great project for Dearborn, but that it should "complement City Hall, not replace (it)."

Tafelski called on Dearborn residents to protest the actions–although the purchase of the ADP building will likely go through nearly immediately.

"I think the Dearborn public needs to be aware of what’s going on," he said. "It’s a large silent majority that really needs to step forward and say, 'Enough’s enough,' because otherwise, we’re going to lose this town."

Nanjac May 23, 2012 at 11:16 PM
How much is it going to cost us to get the building looking and operating like a City Hall. It is one thing to purchase something without figuring out other costs. The Mayor must go.
Dearborn Taxpayer May 23, 2012 at 11:42 PM
I assume that there was public notice of this "Special Meeting" of the Council? These puppets don't even have the respect of residents to do this at a regularly scheduled council meeting. Was this discussed at the Budget Public Hearing?
Dearborn Watcher May 24, 2012 at 12:46 AM
the city is supposed to be going broke, if you listen to the powers that be, yet they want to build a 4 million dollar splash park at Ford Woods Park, they just bought a new 3 million dollar building for city hall, they want to eliminate the Centennial library fountain because it is too expensive to maintain, the department heads got 12% pay raises, while the employees are being told there are pay cuts coming. If the city is so broke that a milage was needed, the fountain has to be removed and paved over and the rank and file employees have to take pay reductions, where is the city getting all this money to buy buildings, build water parks and give double digit pay raises to the directors? Isn't it about time to start recall petitions?
marooned in Dbn May 24, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Elementary, it will come from more millage requests, passed by miraculous 60/40 majorites on ballots. Either that, or more bonding, which equals property tax increases. Of course, this does not affect the same power intrests who run every facet of this city. Reason...how many of them live in other cities, and do not pay Dbn property taxes.
POWDERBURNER May 24, 2012 at 01:14 AM
You applaud this federally subsidized corruption? You, sir are a major part of the problem...and I bet you endorsed the current illegal occupant of the White House. Get a job and quit leeching off the rest of us tax payers.
POWDERBURNER May 24, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Aaaaggghhh!!! How many times do you idiots that support this nonsense have to get smacked upside the head to realize that we're long overdue for new city officials (and I use that term loosely). Happy Jack and his band of merry council lapdogs must be voted out. The end is in sight, and it ain't pretty.
whachadune May 24, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Fountain???? council just yesterday ordered a 5% cut to all departments, except police and fire. Forget about the fountain, that means the Bryant Branch be C-L-O-S-E-D. That means two more pools will close. Those wet sprinkles ain't from the fountain folks. Thanks for the millage, though, no more cramped quarters for hizzoner. Splish splash thank you for the cash!
Suzy sunshine May 24, 2012 at 02:28 AM
The mayor wants to go to work in a nice new office and building, while the children of Dearborn have no pools to swim in. This is not wright. When is the next election? It can't come soon enough. He needs to go!!!
Frank Lee May 24, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Splish splash thanks for the cash .... Priceless
Jumping Jack May 24, 2012 at 02:44 AM
How many more boondoggles can the people of Dearborn take? Giant cost overruns on the Ford Performing Arts Center. Building parking lots on the West end before the so-called hotel project even turned dirt. The giant boondoggle of the Combine Sewer system. Mayor Jack was in the picture with more than a finger in the pie. Time to dump him.
Michael Matigian May 24, 2012 at 05:41 AM
We all have to live with a budget and to close the libray and pools so we can have a new city hall seems self serving Mr Mayor !! Our children should come first as your children did. I am sure you enjoyed the pools and libarries at will as a child growing up in Dearborn.Let's get our prioritys in order John - Jack O'Reilly. I am 65 and enjoyed all of the above.
Axxel Knutson May 25, 2012 at 08:20 PM
I am going to tell people that I am from Inkster. They may be poor, but they are not stupid.
Frank Lee May 27, 2012 at 03:09 AM
The saddest thing about this Artspace is that it is virtually funded with federal money earmarked for low income housing. Meaning the artist residents they billed can be occupied by anyone with minimal restrictions. You do not even have to be an artist to live there. This is simply low income housing dressed up to look presentable. The whole Artspace thing is a scam
Edgar Van Remington May 27, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Are you implying that my Chiabobbles aren't legitimate art?
Ben Bachrach May 27, 2012 at 12:29 PM
The city should not buy the ADP building or any other building. The city should sell every building it currently owns.The city should lease the buildings it needs, with the landlord(s) paying for all the renovations, maintenance and utilities. At least that way we would know up front how much it will cost. We wouldn't need to speculate about if it would be a cost savings to move. If the proposed lease fee on a new city hall is less than the lease fee that the buyer of the present city hall proposes to charge, and the facilities are functionally equivalent then it is easy to make the decision about whether to move.
Rita Dennaoui May 27, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Can someone tell me how did this jackass Bazzy got elected. It is a progressive thing, and we need modern space. I do not know why the resident of DBN have not protested and took this matter to court. Can someone tell me. Since it is the taxpayers of this city are funding the move and the sale, like hell it is not the Mayor checking acct or D Bazzy. Dumb and Dumber.
Kathy May 27, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Frank Lee...can you post a link to a story on artspace in Columbus? All I can find is Urban Art Space at the university which not the same group.
Frank Lee May 27, 2012 at 03:40 PM
This is a project funded with federal funds earmarked for low income housing. Therefore it is subject to all of the requirements the Federal Government mandates. Great idea Bazzy spend hundereds of thousands or Probbably millions of dollars so anyone who meets the income requirements can use Dearborn schools, parks and services free of charge. This beats all the new rental homes in the Pelham - outer drive area. I'm not against low income housing, just not in our Downtown, and don't dress it up as a progressive improvement. There is nothing progressive about Artspace, it simply reallocated low income housing from people who need it to artists who don't want to produce income. This projects is the ultimate example of a mayor has never produced any results in the real world. His entire life has been spent in Dearborn sheltered by our tax dollars. These artists and Orielly need to get real jobs and live somewhere else.
Native Dearborner May 27, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Hey POWDERBURNER, Edgar Van Remington was obviously being sarcastic. The term "live in a van down by the river" came from a Saturday Night Live skit and Chia-Bobbleheads... really, lol. At least someone has a sense of humor.
Frank Marooned in Sour Grapes May 28, 2012 at 02:50 AM
How about Pelham - outer drive area.
Frank Marooned in Sour Grapes May 28, 2012 at 02:57 AM
From your comment and your logic I don't think people will believe you.
Michael D. Albano May 28, 2012 at 03:08 PM
The city, like any responsible business, is supposed perform "due diligence" before they even consider this type of purchase. That means either having city hall sold 1st or putting in a clause in the ADP contact that states if city hall does NOT sell, then the ADP purchase is null and void, AND telling voters exactly how much it will cost to retrofit the ADP building to make it a city hall, and WHERE the money is going to come from...
laplateau May 29, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Take a look at the Artspace web site http://www.artspaceutah.org/. It does appread that it offers, in its own words "Artspace's mixed-use projects incorporate affordable housing"...so, does that mean if I want to qualify for some low cost housing all I have to do is pee in a jar and insert a crucifix? This certainly sounds like something more than a place for "artists" to work on and dispaly their "art"
Frank Lee May 29, 2012 at 08:13 PM
No you don't even have to be an artist to live there. It is simply low income housing with a progressive facade. By taking federal money you submit to federal mandates on how the money will be spent. Therefore artists, bums, and grifters alike will be given an equal opportunity to use our beautiful city services and schools. Thanks oreilly, Bazzy, Shoosh, Suzy, and Bobbie all we needed to do to solve dearborns problem was build more low income housing
Carol Lewis June 02, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Just keep hating Jesus.
Ismail Bachir June 02, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Carol Lewis June 02, 2012 at 01:08 PM
I personally do not think that this was a good idea. To make a move using long range projected building problems is not feasible. The city does not even have a closed deal with Artspace and even if that goes through, do we have enough starving artist types that would be interested? There are groups in Detroit going this genre. Not sure of their success.
laplateau June 04, 2012 at 11:15 PM
And....if the present City Hall is in such bad shape, doesn't the city have to correct all the code and structural violations BEFORE it can be sold to any buyer? That's what the city requires of any homeowner before they can sell. The violations cannot be assigned to the buyer..the seller has to correct them. But...well, uh, gee, the city and O'Reilly don't have to follow their own laws and regulations, do they? But, if they did, they would never get enough from the sale to cover the costs of the new building. But what the heck, we'll follow Obama and either try to raise the taxes again and borrow more. Listen taxpayers...wake up! We can't have pools, can't keep the libraries open, can't afford to even fix out own public buildings. We have sold street cleaners because we used to clean the streets every week, then it was reduced to every other week, and now it's once a month. And, tey haven't even begun todo the,m once a month yet.
POWDERBURNER June 05, 2012 at 06:49 PM
If it wasn't for their anal view of codes and ordinances, we wouldn't be saddled with all their BS violations they come up with when it's time for us to remodel or sell a house. I've lived in a lot of different places and have 2 parcels in northern Michigan, both with dwellings on them. None of them rule like Da' Bone. Happy Jack and his band of merry dictators get a major bulge in their clothing when they find another way to tell us what to do or get fined.
laplateau June 06, 2012 at 12:44 AM


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