UPDATE: Windsor Looks To Expropriate Sandwich Town Property To Protect Ojibway Shores

The City of Windsor is looking to expropriate a piece of land in Sandwich Towne in its bid to preserve Ojibway Shores.

The city has served Michael Dorian Jr., the Michigan owner of the land at 75 Mill St. with an expropriation notice, which was unanimously approved by city council.

Mayor Drew Dilkens says the land at Mill and Russell Streets, would then be swapped with the land at Ojibway Shores, owned by the Windsor Port Authority.

Dilkens says the port authority has interest in the property on Mill St.  and believes the land exchange would be the best way to protect Ojibway Shores.

"We understand the whole plan here, we understand how the pieces fit together and we understand how this is going to be great for the community and great for the environment as well," says Dilkens.

He points out the Mill St. land is partially protected from development.

"Because it is located directly across the street from the Duff Baby House, which is one of the most historic homes in the entire city, it is owned by the province of Ontario, there is a requirement to leave a vision corridor from the Duff Baby House to the river, so that stops a lot of different types of developments."

But Dorian Jr., who owns a car dealership, admits he was caught off guard by the notice.

"I was surprised by it, and not happy about it and still don't understand it because it is a land swap," he says.

He believes given the location of the property, between the Gordie Howe International Crossing and Ambassador Bridge, it's value has increased in recent years.

"I'm not real estate guy, and I don't know what effect, what's going on in Windsor in that area with those bridges, is going to have an effect on my property," he says. "I think that property has got to be worth $300,000-$400,000 an acres.  I have 9 acres there so you are talking about $3-4-million would be the number I would put at you right now."

Dorian Jr. says he had a deal a few years ago with the Windsor Port Authority to sell the land for $2-million, but the deal fell through.

Dilkens says the plan for the property on Mill St. will likely be released in the next month or so.