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Posted on Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 6 a.m.

Ex-Farmer Jack store in Ypsilanti Township caught in A&P bankruptcy, $6M foreclosure

By Paula Gardner

The long-closed Farmer Jack store in Ypsilanti Township is one of 73 stores in 12 states that will be affected by the A&P bankruptcy filing this month.

The chain wants a bankruptcy court to terminate the leases early as it focuses on keeping its 395 stores open and viable.

In the case of the Ypsilanti Township building, located at 3020 Washtenaw just east of Golfside Road sharing a parking lot with Kmart, the former Farmer Jack lease was set to expire on Feb. 28, 2019.

The chain had stopped making lease payments to owner earlier this year, according to published reports, before seeking the legal protection.

The Ypsilanti Township store has been vacant since 2007.

Ownership entity Ypsilanti Real Estate Holdings LLC now also faces foreclosure on a $6.2 million loan on the property.

The company, based in Franklin, is registered to Imad Al-Azem. County records indicate he bought the property for $8.5 million in 2005. It’s now assessed at just under $3 million.

Taxes on the building are current, according to county records. They totaled $173,352 in 2010.

Meanwhile, other nearby ex-Farmer Jack stores on the list for early lease termination include sites in Belleville, which faced an August 2011 expiration, and Canton, which also was signed through 2019, according to Costar real estate listings.



Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 8:29 p.m.

Maybe the courts should force ALL A&P's to close.That empty building is just going to become vandal haven.Do something with it or knock it down


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 3:34 p.m.

Johhnya2 - I appreciate and understand the separation of actions on or of businesses from individuals. There's nearly a century of economics and case law in support of these processes. The truth is that there are people affected at all levels when businesses and individuals are allowed to shed debt without recourse as someone has to "pay the piper". When the system collapses, as it will, the economy tailspins, jobs are lost, commercial and residential foreclosures happen. Bad debt and everything derived from it can suffocate industry and innovation of an entire nation as attention is diverted to emergency mitigation tasks to avert disaster. I agree we must bend to reality but it seems we haven't learned any lesson. It is not in our nations best interest to support policies and regulations that allow these conditions to persist and bolster a fake economy fueled by debt and overinflated or nonexistent assets. Without change play this model out and complete system failure is inevitable each and every time. The ensuing processes are a waste of our nations time and resources at all levels.


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 1:58 p.m.

@Andy Well you are talking about a situation that is not going to happen (more regulation)so I prefer to deal in the current reality. The current situation allows any company to declare bankruptcy and void their leases and debts. The problem is INDIVIDUALS feel shame, embarrassment or some unfounded moral obligation to pay what is owed to uncaring corporations. I don't. I detest the concept of "reorganization" bankruptcies. If you file for BK. I want all your assets liquidated. Sold to the highest bidder. All employees and secured creditors paid first. I also do not see those that took advantage of over inflated property values to sell them giving any of the money back as some moral obligation because they got too much for it. If the foundation of the home is destroyed, you do not patch it, you knock it down and start over.


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 12:52 p.m.

@johnnya2 - I understand the protections available but respectfully disagree to use bankruptcy protections or foreclosure laws as cavalierly as they are have been allowed. Through these processes inordinate amounts of waste and non productive energies are expended which pushes local, state and federal economies even further behind the rest. The issue with these protections and laws is that the simple "whats good for the goose is good for the gander" test doesn't apply. At some point if the economy was positioned precariously enough a situation could manifest itself inflated by greed, speculation and junk funded debt. A chain reaction could occur when "margin calls" are made on toxic/junk/vapor assets which push business and personal bankruptcies and foreclosures to epic proportions creating an unstoppable downward spiral dragging the entire US economy down with it. Oh wait, that already happened. I feel it would be much better for everyone to support tougher regulations to avoid these situations in the first place and then bootstrap to tough it out, work through the debts with creditors so that they too can uphold their promises rather than simply tossing them to the wind for "someone else" to deal with. Where do all these junk assets and bad debt wind up? In this case to trillions of government stimulus, bailout and loans. What if margin calls are made on the US by the rest of the world? We have nothing to offer as we're fueled only by our own debt. Conservation of energy (or resources) always prevails.


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 10:42 a.m.

Who really took a 'bath' on this deal? Without more about the original finance and lease it's hard to tell. My guess is it was bought with easy REIT money in 2005 and owner recovered his initial investment early. Be nice to see more depth on these details when story is under the 'business' banner. Good news here - someone (lender???) is keeping tax paid and investor guru's are suggesting REIT's as 'good' buy's going into 2011! Andy; not all doom and gloom! Merry Christmas!


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 8:44 a.m.

Andy, It is one of the reasons people should never feel bad or embarrassed to use bankruptcy protection or the foreclosure laws to their advantage. Businesses count on people having guilt to pay their bills. Businesses do not have guilt. They look at everything as a financial transaction. When KMart filed for BK, they screwed many small business owners (landscapers, snow removal) who had contracts with them. They did not pay them, and many of them had to file as well. Paying back friends or family is a moral issue. A bank or business is a financial transaction, and if it works out better for you to walk away from it, I advise doing it. The business certainly will.


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 8:33 a.m.

So this guy bought the property as an investment in 2005 for 8.5M and Farmer Jack had a lease till 2019 but vacated in 2007. How is anyone supposed to be able to do business and keep things going under these conditions. Failure all around.


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 7:05 a.m.

Thanks I was woundering why that place was vacant.It seemed that it was always busy.There is'nt anything closer ( other than Value World which don't count )than Carptender near by.I did'nt know A&P owened Farmer Jack.Heck I lost my job at A&P 30 years ago when they closed ( now Big lots ).Sorry about my spelling and such I think I had too much fun last night,I can't really remember.