close menu
This website uses cookies to store your accessibility preferences. No personal / identifying information is stored. More info.

New Release: Chesaning Announces Lawsuit Against Dangerous Building Owner

For Immediate Release

February 15, 2022

Contact: James Wickman, Village Administrator or 989-845-3800

Village Officials: Owners Have a Responsibility to the Community

CHESANING – Village President Matthew Hoover today announced that the Village Attorney has filed a lawsuit against Greg Schankin, the Macomb County owner of the downtown building that collapsed in December.  The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring Schankin to clean up the remains of the brick building and repay the Village for costs incurred for the public heath and safety emergency.

“Mr. Schankin had ample warning and time to prevent this disaster – and he failed to do so,” Hoover said. “The circumstances that endangered the public, damaged the neighboring building and our beloved Kiwanis Park, and left an eyesore in our beautiful downtown cannot be excused.  It was an act of gross negligence that could have been avoided and this absentee owner should be held accountable.”

The Village sought to have the building condemned and demolished in 2021, which Schankin challenged in court.  The back wall partially collapsed on December 22nd and the Village notified Schankin, who failed to respond or repair the damage.  A structural engineer hired by the Village declared the building a public safety hazard and the Village demolished the building to prevent further injury or damage.

Village Administrator James Wickman said, “The lawsuit, which was filed in Saginaw County Circuit Court, seeks to hold Schankin liable for his negligence, the nuisance caused, and for violating the International Property Maintenance Code. Schankin refused to correct an obviously unsafe condition, address the partial collapse, or clean up the mess. Chesaning will not stand back and allow a neglectful property owner to tarnish the safety or tranquility of our Village.”

The Village seeks the following relief and any further relief the Court deems appropriate:

  • Reimbursing the Village for the cost of demolition, fencing, and structural engineer;
  • Ordering Schankin to remove and clean up debris on the property;
  • Ordering Schankin to pay for repairs to the neighboring building;
  • Ordering Schankin to pay the Village’s costs and attorney fees in having to bring this action.

Kiwanis Park sits next to the old building site, on the southeast corner of Broad Street and Front Street.  Victor Shapley donated the land to the Village in 2015.  In 2016, the Chesaning Kiwanis Club adopted the park to build a community garden in memory of Louise Shapley, which was all lost or damaged by the collapse.