The owner of the shuttered Barnstormers Entertainment Complex in Green Oak Township wants to re-open.

Rob Cortis still owns the facility and property on M-36 near US-23, which was shut down in 2012 following years of code violations. Multiple safety and code violations led to occupancy being reduced and portions of the building were ordered closed until the conditions deemed dangerous could be rectified. A lengthy lawsuit with the township was settled in June.

Cortis tells WHMI he wants to clean everything up, make improvements and give the building a facelift with curb appeal so he can re-open as a nice family, community dining restaurant with banquets, special events, dancing and entertainment. Cortis says he hopes to clean up the building and now that the lawsuit is finished, there’s no more guessing – adding he and the township are adults and got past everything. Cortis says he knows what he has to do to fix it up and will work on getting plans submitted to the township within 30 to 60 days. He did comment that if someone wants to buy it, “everything is always for sale”.

Cortis anticipates he’ll need to invest roughly $300-$500,000 to get the facility up and running again but feels the cost of repairs are manageable and he’s working to secure financing to fix what the township was worried about and make everybody happy. If any demolition needs to be done, he says it will be included in the budget but feels that would only involve parts of the building. Cortis says the anticipated costs would include the monetary awards determined by the court settlement, which will remain in the form of a lien against the property until paid. The court awarded sanctions against Barnstormers for filing a frivolous lawsuit in the amount of $85,000, and affirmed the award of the township’s costs related to the litigation in the amount of $27,078.

Green Oak Township Supervisor Mark St. Charles told WHMI if Cortis plans to rebuild, then all of it must meet codes.(JM)