By J. PATRICK PEPPER
DEARBORN — Attorneys for Burton-Katzman Development Co. last week filed for a two-week extension in order to reply to a breach of contract and fraud lawsuit filed by city attorneys in January.
The suit alleges that the Bingham Farms-based company breached a 2003 development agreement it signed with the city by failing to complete several aspects of the project. On Michigan Avenue between Howard and Tenny at the former site of Jacobson’s department store, the agreement specified 48 row-style condominiums, two midrise buildings and two buildings with retail and office space.
Only 36 condos and the retail and office components have been built; company officials blame the poor economy for preventing completion of the rest.
Also included in the suit is a claim of silent fraud stemming from the alleged nondisclosure by company officials of a corporate dissolution filing in April 2008. City attorneys say that despite several face-to-face meetings and written correspondences with company officials, they were not aware of the dissolution until discovering it themselves in a Michigan business entity search while preparing for the breach of contract complaint.
Calls to Burton-Katzman seeking comment for this story were not returned as of press time.