More than a year and a half after Farmington Public Schools officials approved the sale of the former Eagle Elementary School building to the Islamic Cultural Association, the district has collected $1.1 million in sale proceeds.
Assistant Superintendent David Ruhland confirmed Wednesday that the funds were transferred to the district a little more than three weeks after the Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lawsuit filed by two district residents.
In September of 2011, plaintiffs Eugene Greenstein and Melvyn Sternfeld filed a lawsuit, claiming they would be negatively impacted because they live near the property located in the northwest corner of 14 Mile and Middlebelt Road. Sternfeld, a real estate broker, argued that the district told him the building was not for sale and that stopping the transaction would allow his clients to bid on it.
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Rae Lee Chabot ruled that the plaintiffs did not show they would be harmed by the sale, a decision the plaintiffs challenged in the Michigan Court of Appeals. In September of 2012, the Appeals Court upheld Chabot's ruling, and the Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear the case in February.
The plaintiffs did not ask the court to reconsider the ruling within the 21-day window offered under state law, which means the Appeals Court ruling will stand.
Although the sale was completed in November of 2011, funds were held in escrow pending the outcome of the lawsuit. The ICA will operate a mosque and cultural center on the site. A West Bloomfield planning commission review of the site was tabled in October.