Court orders fence built in Detroit's Green Dot Stables parking lot removed


Last week, the Detroit International Bridge Co. erected a metal fence through Green Dot Stables’ parking lot after it discovered it owned part of the property. - JERILYN JORDAN
  • Jerilyn Jordan
  • Last week, the Detroit International Bridge Co. erected a metal fence through Green Dot Stables’ parking lot after it discovered it owned part of the property.

A court has ordered billionaire Matthew Moroun's Detroit International Bridge Company to take down a metal fence it erected through the parking lot of Detroit burger joint Green Dot Stables as part of an ongoing property dispute.

"They took the fence down via court order," Green Dot Stables owner Jacques Driscoll tells Metro Times via text message on Tuesday. "Going to court but would like to avoid it. But they have cut off communication with me. ... I offered to purchase the property in question to avoid court at twice what they think the value is and they told me to stop contacting them. Very strange."

Detroit International Bridge Company put the fence up last week after it discovered it owned a small sliver of the property. The fence ran through more than a dozen parking spots and even blocked off a Dumpster entirely.

"This week’s activity comes after months of cordial communication with Green Dot," DIBC spokeswoman Esther Jentzen says in a statement. "When we suspected they were occupying part of our property, both parties engaged in extensive research and concluded that DIBC was the owner. This was made evident when Green Dot provided DIBC a letter of intent to lease the property. We responded with a counter and believed we were not far from a resolution. Shortly after, Green Dot’s position and approach to the communication changed significantly."

Jentzen says the company decided to put up the fence "[in] an effort to limit liability exposure for our company and the restaurant’s customers." But when the court ordered the fence removed, citing squatter's rights, "We abided immediately," she says.

The skirmish came ahead of a Friday court date.

"I would love to settle it outside of court because there seems to be easy solutions here but they didn’t really give us much of a choice," Driscoll tells Metro Times.

DIBC claims they have been misrepresented.

"We should have been notified of the court hearing but were not," Jentzen says. "Much of what is being reported to the media by a Green Dot representative is inaccurate and inflammatory. Unfortunately, it is this approach that has led us to where we are now. We look forward to the opportunity to represent ourselves in court on September 10th."

According to Deadline Detroit, Moroun offered to buy the entire property, but Driscoll asked for $15 million, and Moroun countered with $300,000. Driscoll tells Metro Times that he used that $300,000 offer to calculate how much the sliver of land in dispute would be worth and doubled it, arriving at $80,000, which he offered to pay DIBC.

"It's my baby," Driscoll says of the business, which is his most popular. Driscoll also owns nearby Johnny Noodle King and Yellow Light Coffee & Donuts on the east side. He has owned Green Dot Stables since 2011.

But now, talks between the two parties have completely broken down.

"[Can you] put a plea in for me to have them contact us and resolve this?" Driscoll asks Metro Times. "Since I can't talk with them directly anymore. I even had the attorney reach out but nothing."

Jentzen says the company has no further comment.

On Friday, a judge held the injunction for six more days in the hopes that the two parties could come to a resolution.

"I am very happy with that outcome today given that has been our goal since this situation came to our attention," Driscoll says.

Updated Friday: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Detroit International Bridge Company did not warn Green Dot Stables it was putting up the fence. It was also updated to include new information following the Friday court date.

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