By Roger Utnehmer
The developer of Sturgeon Bay’s failed waterfront hotel project has started legal action against the city and his biggest claim is to pay himself $180,000. Bob Papke is asking for $540,534, claiming the city was negligent for not informing him of concerns regarding the ordinary high water mark at the proposed location of the hotel. The city, Papke’s action claims, was well aware of concerns about the ability to obtain title to the property and did not disclose that to him.
In a list of expenses Papke claims $180,000 listed as “compensation to the developer for three years of work at city’s request.”
Other expenses Papke wants to be reimbursed by Sturgeon Bay taxpayers for include interest on a line of credit to Nicolet National Bank for $36,498, legal fees of $51,237 and marketing expenses totaling $7,372.
The notice to the city submitted by Papke’s law firm says “the city’s failure to disclose the OHWM problem prior to the execution of the development contract was at least negligent misrepresentation. After Sawyer executed the development agreement, the city avoided any disclosure to Sawyer of the fact no title insurer was willing to write a title insurance policy given the existence of the OHWM.”
The entire notice of claim including Papke’s expenses for which he is demanding payment is included with this story at DoorCountyDailyNews.com. The address used by Papke in his notice of claim to the city, 1241 North 18th Avenue Sturgeon Bay is the address of Pine Crest Village LLC, an assisted living facility owned by Papke.
Sturgeon Bay community activist Christie Weber announced an effort last week to recall Sturgeon Bay Mayor Thad Birmingham, citing the failed hotel project as one of the factors prompting the action.