Flint, MI—Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Flintstone Investment Group Corp, owner of the Paterson Building in downtown Flint, Mich., which was condemned in March 2022.
Thomas W. Collison & Company, the building’s former owner, is requesting the immediate return of “possession, custody and control” of the premises to Collison through court action, in a motion filed with the 7th Judicial Circuit Court on July 27, 2022.
The motion claims that Flintstone Investment Group Corp, alongside associated companies Love Holdings, LLC and Love Holdings I LLC, defaulted on the land contract by which the Paterson Building was purchased from Collison in September 2019—due in large part to the building’s condemnation.
“The essence of Plaintiff’s Complaint stems from the fact that on or around March 31, 2022, the City of Flint issued a Condemnation Notice to Defendant Flintstone Investment Group Corp,” read a brief filed with the motion. “Since the time of the condemnation, Defendants have failed or refused to address the falling exterior portions of the Premises and take actions necessary to lift the condemnation.”
The motion also states that Love Holdings and Flintstone have failed to provide Collison with tax payments and insurance receipts as required by the land contract.
As part of the motion, attorney Robert MacDonald, whose family law firm MacDonald & MacDonald has been a tenant of the building for decades, provided an affidavit attesting to a timeline of events and communications regarding the historic building’s condemnation.
Among other things, including incomplete repair work stemming back to 2019, the affidavit alleges that Flintstone has not provided payment to multiple contractors connected to repairing the building’s exterior and interior; has misled tenants about when repairs to lift the Paterson’s condemnation status would be made; has blamed the city of Flint for delays regarding those repairs; and has continued to collect, and increased, rent payments despite the building’s continuing condemned status.
“My grandfather moved into the building in 1955,” MacDonald told Flint Beat. “It was a family law firm with my dad, grandfather [and] uncles. And I’m still in there. I’m anxious to see some progress.”
In the affidavit, MacDonald said that he has not been able to meet with his clients inside the Paterson Building for more than three months, causing “undue hardship” to his firm.
“I would like to stay in the building,” MacDonald said. “I don’t want to move the 70 years of junk that I’ve accumulated between me and my family. But I guess we’ll see what the court does.”
If the court does not see it fit to return the property to Thomas W. Collison & Company, the motion seeks that the court order Flintstone and its co-defendants to “cease and desist committing waste on the Premises” and immediately begin repairs to make the building compliant with “all applicable code and regulations,” which would include the Flint City Code, Michigan Property Maintenance Code, and International Property Maintenance Code.
Additionally, the motion asks that if the condemnation of the Paterson Building is not lifted or removed within 30 days from the date of the court’s decision, “then possession, custody and control” of the building be awarded to Collison at that time.
Collison’s motion will be heard by Judge Brian S. Pickell on Monday, August 22, 2022.
In a separate filing at the 67th District Court, the city of Flint has also been pursuing litigation against Flintstone Investment Group Corp.
According to court records, the city opened a lawsuit against Flintstone on May 10, 2022, citing the company for “occupying a condemned structure,” and opened a second lawsuit on June 24 for “failing to maintain standards.”
Those lawsuits will be heard by Judge William H. Crawford on Monday, August 15, 2022.
The city of Flint has not returned Flint Beat’s repeated requests for comment on the Paterson Building since July 12, 2022, at which time an official said she was “continuing to confirm the status of the Paterson Building case.”
Flintstone Investment Group Corp has not responded to any of Flint Beat’s requests for comment since the building was condemned.