Corktown bar damaged by construction workers from multi-million development

- A Corktown bar and restaurant was condemned after a construction accident.

Many are angry about it - this business was one of the last holdouts to sell for Soave Enterprises to develop the multi-million Elton Park project.

On the first day of construction of Corktown’s Elton Park project - a confrontation happened after a construction crew, who was digging a trench, cracked the wall of the UFO Factory.

The popular bar sits in the middle of the fourth phase of a $150 million development - perhaps in the way. That's what many believe after the bar owner battled in court and refused to sell the business to the developer Tony Soave.

"I cannot believe you did this, this is criminal, the police told you to stop," yelled someone with the bar at construction workers today.

"Our attorneys don't want us to talk about it," said owner Dion Fischer.

Reporter: "They offered to buy your place and you said no."

"That's true," Fischer said.

Fischer was unable to address what happened but apparently the construction crew damaged his business beyond repair. Work was stopped and the city condemned the building.

Benjamin Wardwell works next door at McShane's and frequented the UFO Factory.

"I find it conveniently ironic they suddenly damaged the building the day they start construction," he said. "Now it is condemned. It’s like they couldn't win in court then UFO won the court battle, then 'Gee we hurt your building, we're sorry now the building is condemned so it's going to have to be torn down."

"We're actually a new business over here too," said Tim Price, who owns the Happier Camper. "So I'm kind of scared of what's going to happen in this area."

"I am taking pictures," said Zach Lewis, UFO Factory patron. "I wanted to get details about what happened myself; I know it's the hot thing on social media. F the construction property and support the UFO Factory."

Peter Van Dyke from the Soave Real Estate group says they just learned about what happened. The general contractor Monahan Company is assessing the damage as well as the appropriate corrective measures.

In the meantime, employees are out of a job. People involved in the Detroit music scene who often played at the UFO Factory have rallied together and are throwing a benefit at southwest Detroit's El Club next Monday to raise money for those displaced workers.

"I'm very happy people are supporting us that our friends are supporting us," said Fischer.
The investigation is underway. As for that employee fundraiser it's scheduled for Monday August 7 at the El Club on Vernor Highway.  There is also a GoFundMe page, CLICK HERE.

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