DEARBORN —'For Sale' signs bearing the phrase "The Dream is Over" have been posted on multiple Downtown West Dearborn buildings owned by developer Hakim Fakhoury.
|One of several 'For Sale' signs posted on multiple buildings owned by developer Hakim Fakhoury in Downtown West Dearborn. PHOTO: Khalil AlHajal|
But Mayor Jack O'Reilly said it was Fakhoury who failed to meet the obligations of his contract with the city as a preferred developer.
"He never came in with a plan with financing," O'Reilly said. "He kept wanting a development agreement without meeting the demands of the contract."
Fakhoury and the city had been working to secure state tax incentives for the Dearborn Village Partners North project on Michigan Avenue between Military and Howard streets.
They hoped Fakhoury could develop a major project that would bring more traffic and economic activity to the district, but the mayor said the city couldn't continue with a development agreement without Fakhoury providing a final proposal that included financing.
"It's not just his fault. The capital market at this time is really tough," O'Reilly said. "Nobody doubts his sincerity, but it was all based on capital... There was nobody who would come in and do financing on student housing."
The initial plan, put forth several years ago, included demolition of the old Bally's Fitness, Giuliano's and Brother's Tuxedo buildings on the site, but the mayor said that Fakhoury, still unable to secure financing to ensure the project would go forward, would not commit to having the buildings demolished.
As of press time, Fakhoury had not yet responded to messages requesting comment.
Fakhoury owns several large properties along Michigan Avenue and the 'For Sale' signs are posted on multiple buildings, but the city's involvement, O'Reilly said, was limited to the one block between Military and Howard.
The mayor said he hopes Fakhoury is able to sell the properties.
"If he can sell them, I'm fine with that, because then other people can come in with new ideas," he said. I want everyone in Dearborn to succeed, but I don't control all the factors out there."