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Broken elevators at Detroit's Penobscot Building capture attention of city inspectors

Help Me Hank exposes elevator problem

DETROIT – Broken elevators inside the Penobscot Building in Downtown Detroit have captured the attention of city inspectors.

Help Me Hank exposed the elevator problems Monday after several tenants reached out to say they couldn't get answers about the elevator issues from management.

Hidden cameras reveal broken elevators

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."

Inspectors visit building

On Tuesday, Help Me Hank cameras were rolling as an inspector with Detroit's Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department inspected the elevators.

The inspector found the majority of the elevators still aren't working. He also said there are safety concerns.

As a result of the inspection, building management will either be forced to take action and make the repairs or risk receiving violations or fines.

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

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