Donovan said claims that Curtis’ company tried to work out a settlement with the land bank to renovate the house are “demonstratively wrong.” “I do not believe Detroit Renovations ever spent a penny on this property,” said Michael Donovan, legal counsel for the land bank. “Certainly, they can prove me wrong by producing some kind of invoice. But I’ve never seen an invoice. It’s been close to four years now.” “We’ve indicated six different times where the Detroit Land Bank offered to enter into a settlement, the last several times without any response whatsoever,” he said. “We did everything required by the land bank statute.”
In her March 12 lawsuit, Curtis contends the land bank took advantage of her when it took the deed to the house she’d paid taxes on, was insuring and had stabilized and secured. Curtis has told The News she intended to invest $500,000 into restoring the house and spent $10,000 alone on architectural renderings. The land bank filed its emergency motion a week after the Lake Orion native and “Rehab Rescue Addict” star sued, arguing she should be reimbursed for $60,000 invested into the blighted house since purchasing it for $17,000 from a private seller in 2017. Curtis was notified a year later that the land bank actually held title to the property.
On Monday, attorneys for the land bank told Kenny there’s no evidence that Curtis’ company, Detroit Renovations, made any investment at the site. Chief Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny, after listening to arguments from attorneys on both sides for nearly an hour, said he’ll issue an opinion on April 15.
“She knew that the land bank had asserted an interest and was trying to resolve it,” he said. Monday’s hearing comes days after Rasor accused the land bank in a court filing of “misrepresenting material facts.” In a Friday motion, Rasor is asking the court to set aside an August ruling that awarded the house to the land bank and declare Curtis the owner. Rasor told Kenny the only reason Curtis hasn’t been able to complete the house is “because the land bank has been inconsistently telling her one thing and then the other.”
“I feel like we’re building a nuclear submarine and it shouldn’t be that hard,” he said. “She paid the blight fees to the Detroit Land Bank Authority, she paid the taxes, she insured the property.” Curtis’ attorney, Jim Rasor, noted Monday that there’s been “a lot of disparaging” against Curtis but it’s been her goal from the start to reach a mutual agreement.
The News Highlights
- There is no evidence that the HGTV star spent money on a destroyed house in Detroit
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