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Posted on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Bank turns down offers for former Pub 13 and Club Divine in downtown Ypsilanti

By Tom Perkins

The lights will remain off in a stretch of the once lively Ypsilanti entertainment district, despite several offers to purchase two vacant nightclubs.

Three offers were made for the former Savoy, previously called Club Divine, and the neighboring former Pub 13 piano bar. But the properties’ owner, Michigan Commerce Bank, saw the offers as too low, according to the properties' broker.

The two properties were listed at $990,000 in December 2010 but the asking price has since dropped to $750,000. Colliers’ Jim Chaconas, the broker for the both nightclubs, declined to say how much the recent offers were for. Chaconas said separate offers were made for restaurant use and office use.

Another group toured the properties last week, he said, and that group could make a serious offer, though he declined to say who it was.

The listed price does not include liquor licenses.


The lights remain out at the former Pub 13 and Savoy/Club Divine nightclubs

Tom Perkins | For

Chaconas said there is small leak in part of Club Divine's roof, but he called it minor and said the roof is structurally sound. City officials said they will inspect the building sometime in the next week.

Chaconas also said both buildings are structurally sound in general. Pub 13 operated at 17 N. Washington Street while Club Divine operated at 21 N. Washington Street.

“Structurally, they're great,” Chaconas said. “The Pub 13 side is even better now that we cleaned it up.”

Both bars were operated by David Curtis, who closed them abruptly in November 2010 amid what Curtis described as a dispute with DTE Energy over his utility billing. The businesses were $30,000 in arrears, according to DTE. Curtis said a malfunctioning meter caused the massive underbilling.

According to county records, Midwest Realty LLC — an entity involving Curtis — bought 17-21 N. Washington in September 2002 with a $1.1 million loan from the former Ann Arbor Commerce Bank, now operating as Michigan Commerce Bank. The city assessor then split off the 21 N. Washington property for tax purposes.

Combined, the buildings are 21,000 square feet. Chaconas previously said Club Divine had the highest wholesale liquor purchases in the county at one point.

“It’s a cool place, and it was the nightclub in Washtenaw County for a long time,” Chaconas said. “The last owner did extremely well, but Ypsilanti is now not the up-and-coming place.”

Their closure has left a dark stretch on a main downtown block. At one time, the neighboring J Neil’s Mongolian Grille, also owned by Curtis, closed as well, though that reopened as Bona Sera in July.


The former Pub 13 in downtown Ypsilanti.

Tom Perkins | For

On the other side of the properties is the Deja Vu exotic dance club. Some people believe that has been an obstacle to finding buyers for the properties.

Chaconas said downtown Ypsilanti has been on a downward spiral since the clubs closed two years ago.

“It would help if someone got in there and got them going,” Chaconas said. “Since those clubs closed, all the other bars and clubs are all going down the tubes.”


Candace Rawks

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

nice homework there 'Mr. James Chaconas. doesn't know his market 'at all' and has absolutely no idea what 'is' happening in Ypsi that now, or never has, had anything to do with Pub 13. Michigan Commerce Bank would do themselves a huge favor getting a new Realtor who can actually market the property properly. tsk tsk.


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 1:28 a.m.

Deja Vu has been around for 25 years. How many bars, restaurants, and night clubs in Ypsi have come and gone in the last 25 years?


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.

Why are their so many arrogant people, who put down ypsi? I am fairly new, but I find this town, so much better than that "treetown?' Ypsi seems to me, to be the real deal. Real artist; real musicians, and real people. That other town, seems to be a federally funded project for the arts. Very self promoting, but very little substance. Let's be honest, nothing relevant has happened in tree town, since Iggy, and Bob. Hey Chaconas! Let someone, who wants to make a living, sell that piece of property. Also, tell your buddies, over their at the bank, to come off that sticker price and do something for our community. I am sure real estate values have depreciated more than 30 percent. I know the residential market has lost, close to 50 percent.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 11:09 p.m.

I say good riddance to those clubs and I wish Curtis to lose the rest of his business ventures. Some 6 years I ago I exited the rear door of pub 13 with my girlfriend and her friend. I was jumped by 5 people for no reason but their fun. After being hospitalized un-conscious I talked to some people who seen me get assaulted and they said the main bouncer and another bouncer watched from only feet away as I was kicked in the head repeatedly . I went to Ypsi police dept. and they wrote the report as a "simple assault" and did not pursue the video from the camera pointed right at the exit of pub 13. I managed to talk to curtis about the incident and he apologized and said he never heard of the problem, and that the video had already been taped over. I swore I'd never set foot or spend an other dime in an Ypsi establishment and I have held true to that.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

It is obvious to all who frequent Downtown Ypsilanti Chaconas is way out of touch on what is happening in the city. Michigan Commerce Bank should be ashamed to have Chaconas associated with them - he obviously doesn't know the pulse of our city and is not a good representative for the property.

Basic Bob

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

If Chaconas convinces the bank to take a low bid, the property sells and he gets his (possibly lower) commission. He makes nothing while it sits unsold.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

I do believe this agent had a samll fortune in his poscket before getting his license. anyhow, moving property by volume and not value is in his best interest.

Tim Hornton

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

Thats to bad, I got drunk at both those bars many times.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 6:53 p.m.

I applaud for not editing out the thoughtless comments of the listing agent. Haven't you ever noticed how long Colliers signs just seem to linger on properties. Price a property well and it will sell.

music to my ear

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 6:01 p.m.

haste makes waste.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

If any business in Ypsilanti employees him or his firm to represent their property, they should immediately terminate that arrangement and find a realtor that knows the Ypsi turf and appreciates what is going on down here. Nothing like having someone like Chaconas misrepresent things on your behalf. If he was my employee in a real estate firm, I would fire him today!


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

wow - what a clown even if what he said was true (and I do not think it is 100%) why would he not try to spin it??? "we have some great, under valued properties in Ypsilanti and once the ball gets rolling downtown will take off." seriously, if this guy worked for me in the same capacity and said these things, he would be out of a job


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

"Down the tubes"???? Downtown Ypsi has never been better!! In SPITE of DejaVu. New stores and restaurants are opening up, anchors like MIX and the Rocket are pulling more and more people and foot traffic in, helping all the other stores.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

Has Chaconas been Downtown Ypsilanti in the last couple of years? Obviously not!!!! Downtown Ypsilanti is almost thriving these days with businesses like Puffer Reds (nationally known), The Rocket (Stocking Stuffer Capital), Mix (Voted Best Independent Clothing Store in Washtenaw County), Salt City Antiques, Materials Unlimited, ModelCave (you have to see this place), Ypsilanti Cycle, Bowerbird Mongo, etc. Add to this Ypsi Studio for a workout or one of the many other service businesses and then add some great eating places like Haabs, Red Rock, Bona Sera, Wolverine Grill, Beezys, Dalat, The Tap Room, Koreys' Krispy Krunch Chicken. We now have a vibrant Downtown will no vacancies in the many beautiful lofts, and dressed up building thanks to the YDDA grant program. Yes, we would like to see something in Pub 13 and Savoy but those buildings no longer define the Downtown in any way, shape or form. I for one plan to write the bank and formally complain about their realtor's inaccurate representation of Ypsilanti, which i hear has been going on for quite awhile. Chaconas is no friend of Ypsilanti and I hope no other company signs up to use his services in our Town. He should stay in Ann Arbor which he obviously perfers. I guess it just easier for him there.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

clearly this guy is just another A2 parasite more worried about making the profit off of Yspi's back than getting himself (and that really stupid bank) out of the way of some progress. I agree with Glenn S. clearly he neither understands the actual value of the property (with its "little leak") or the community around it.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

I can't believe Chaconas would say that about Ypsilanti!! I have not seen Ypsi on such an up-swing since the early 2000's. The difference is, this time, the latest up-swing in new business is not built on loans that people can't repay! The smart money is investing in Ypsi right now. Just look at the housing statistics. The hottest area is Ypsilanti Township. Home prices have sky rocketed. My advice, Jim, stay in Ann Arbor!!


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

If the bank is serious about selling these properties, it should get itself a new realtor. Stat.

Linda Peck

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

I think Ypsilanti is up and coming. It certainly looks brighter and better than in recent past years. I would like to see something truly useful to families in these downtown Ypsilanti, buildings, not just for the evening crowd.

Ron Granger

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

"On the other side of the properties is the Deja Vu exotic dance club. Some people believe that has been an obstacle to finding buyers for the properties." You think? Who wouldn't want to anchor their downtown with a strip club? How'd that get approved? Urban Planning is an alien concept to Ypsi goverment. Though it is a well studied science, and Umich will give you a Masters in it - though probably not for strip clubs or casinos.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

Just give it a little bit.....I bet they'll add a "Pole Dancing Fitness" class...if they don't already have one...


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 1:39 p.m.

It's impossible to argue with the comment that was just deleted. As a realtor, Chaconas would make a good bricklayer. With realtors like him, Ypsi doesn't need enemies.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

@amazonwarrior: No insult intended! The figure of speech I was using was simply meant to say that he does his job as if it were a completely different job. In other words, he doesn't do his job well.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

Patty - please don't "knock" late father was one for 60 years and he was a hardworking and HONEST man!


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Did I just read an article where a realtor just downplayed all his properties value?

Glen S.

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

"It would help if someone got in there and got them going," Chaconas said. "Since those clubs closed, all the other bars and clubs are all going down the tubes." Not true. Since those clubs closed, a number of new bars/restaurants have opened or expanded, including the Red Rock Downtown Grill, Smarty Catz, the Tap Room, and the fantastic new Bona Sera Cafe -- which is right next door to the building(s) in question. Obviously, Mr. Chaconas understands neither the community, nor his potential market. No wonder the buildings remain unsold ...

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 11:49 a.m.

",... but Ypsilanti is now not the up-and-coming place." price just went down... a couple not so bright comments by someone representing and trying to sell/lease a property.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Don't worry. The market won't believe that. You may get a couple of investors take pause, but when they go downtown and see all the activity, they will understand Chaconas doesn't know what he is talking about and prices will continue to rise.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 11:27 a.m.

"It would help if someone got in there and got them going," Chaconas said. "Since those clubs closed, all the other bars and clubs are all going down the tubes." Not bright for a realtor to say this...