Tenants fed up with broken elevators inside Detroit's Penobscot Building

Help Me Hank investigates after flood of emails from tenants

DETROIT – The Penobscot Building is one of Detroit's most iconic skyscrapers, but many people working inside say elevator issues are making the building dangerous and difficult to navigate.

Several tenants have contacted Help Me Hank after they couldn't get answers from management.

The Penobscot Building has long been regarded as an architectural gem in the heart of Downtown Detroit. But take one step inside and you'll notice a serious problem: elevators that don't work.

The elevators are dangerous and make it challenging to navigate almost 50 floors, tenants said.

"I've been stuck over 20 times," one person said.

Tenants are wondering when the elevators will finally get moving again.

When Hank Winchester visited the building, only one of five elevators in the first bank was working. In another, two of five were working. One elevator was parked on the ground floor, partially open.

While taking a shaky ride up in one elevator, a guard told Help Me Hank on a hidden camera that the elevators are always broken.

The building is owned by Andreas Apostolopoulos, CEO of the Toronto-based Triple Properties. He made headlines in 2010 when he bought the Silverdome for about $580,000.

Apostolopoulos bought the building for $5 million in 2012 and promised big upgrades.

"We're aware of the issue with the elevators," a spokesperson said. "Some of the elevators have been vandalized. Others are being modernized. We hope to have the issues resolved soon. In the meantime, those with complaints can contact building management directly."

You can watch the full story in the video posted above.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.