Michigan Shed Worries

Michigan’s Boston Township will likely get a 5,000-seat amphitheatre built on an apple orchard whether folks who live there like it or not. And residents are apparently nervous about the shed’s would-be developer.

Kris Dreyer, owner of United Entertainment, wants to build the $18 million shed, which would include a 7,000-space parking lot. However, it was recently reported that he filed for bankruptcy in August and has been sued for his business practices.

Detroit-based Dreyer has been trying to build an amphitheatre in West Michigan for years. Initial attempts in Mecosta and Montcalm counties failed. The shed, to be dubbed The Woods of Michigan, could open in 2007 if things go as planned.

Grand Rapids’ WOOD-TV recently investigated Dreyer’s company and found he had filed for bankruptcy protection, listing $1 million debt and $18,000 in assets – the most valuable of which was an autographed Michael Jordan jersey. Plus, the IRS reportedly filed a $600,000 tax lien again him.

As part of another lawsuit, Dreyer said in a sworn statement that he has not filed an income tax return since 1997 or ’98. He has been sued in Michigan, New York, Minnesota and Tennessee, the television station reported.

In one case filed by a bank, Dreyer and two of his companies were on the losing end of a $250,000 judgment. The bank accused him of a check-kiting scam in which one of his firms wrote bad checks to another, leaving the bank empty handed, according to WOOD-TV.

Court records also show federal and state governments as creditors, according to The Grand Rapids Press, and other outstanding debts include a $402,000 judgment against Dreyer for a mortgage default.

The newspaper asked the township supervisor if he could stop the project. Robert Dunton replied that he had no jurisdiction because a repeal of a zoning ordinance in 1990 means local officials cannot intervene.

“I’m kind of neutral on it,” Dunton told the paper. “It’s one of these things that it’s not in my backyard. These people already have put quite a bit of money into it. It is an ideal site for this.”