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Posted on Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 11:57 a.m.

Tax foreclosure auction: Bidders taking notice of Ann Arbor's former Greek Church property

By Lizzy Alfs


The former Greek Church property in Ann Arbor is up about $5,000 from its minimum bid price of $365,051.

Melanie Maxwell |

Bidding is under way for 67 items in Washtenaw County’s tax foreclosure auction, and so far, Ann Arbor’s former Greek Church property is drawing the most interest.

The auction — which started this morning and runs through Sept. 11 — includes vacant lots, commercial buildings and residential homes.

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, about a dozen properties had received bids, including several houses in Ypsilanti and the blighted Greek Church property on Ann Arbor’s North Main Street.

Most of the properties drawing interest have bids equal to the minimum bid price, which includes taxes, fees, interest, penalties and the cost to bring it to auction.

Bidding on the Greek Church property was at $370,000 as of 11 a.m. Thursday — almost $5,000 above the minimum bid price.

“This is really good news,” said Washtenaw County treasurer Catherine McClary.

“I’m of two minds: there is an easement on this property, which does detract from its value, simply because it means you have to work with somebody who has an easement. However, this is a prime property; it’s four parcels on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor,” she added.

The blighted building was zoned as a planned unit development (PUD) in 2006 when North Main/Fourth Ventures LLC proposed a 158-foot multi-family residential development called “The Gallery.” McKinley Inc. holds the easement for 57 parking spaces, which was agreed upon when The Gallery project was proposed.


A house at 119 Bell Road in Ypsilanti has a starting bid of $1,000.

Photo from

The building has since fallen into disrepair, and it was turned over to the county treasurer following a tax foreclosure.

The building is being demolished next week to make it a more attractive purchase for interested developers.

“Obviously, (demolition) won’t be completed by the end of the auction, but we are notifying people on the auction site that they aren’t buying that blighted structure,” McClary said.

Other properties that have received bids so far include a house at 119 Bell Road in Ypsilanti, which has a starting bid of $1,000.

A vacant lot at 1560 Hickory Hollow in Dexter is up $500 from its minimum bid price of $1,000.

If a property doesn’t sell during this auction, there will be another starting Oct. 18.

The auction is available for viewing on

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 4 a.m.

The PUD on the Greek Church and adjacent properties should have been cancelled before the auction. Now the Kerrytown area will be threatened by a ridiculously out of character and out of proportion development.

Dog Guy

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 12:38 a.m.

Yes, jns131, an absurd idea EXCEPT for people made homeless by confiscatory Ann Arbor property taxes. We May-voting bleeding heart tax-parasites owe them a place to live after stealing their houses for feel-good boondoggles, anti-art, ephemera, and a green rainbow over our holier-than-thou city.


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

There are organizations out there to help those who are over their head in mortgage dealings. If you are that far behind? Get help. There is help out there. Most just walk away from the house without even realizing that if they stay something might be worked out. The bank does not want the house, yes they want to get paid but still, maybe re fi? So, no, dog guy, your point is invalid.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 10:04 p.m.

To have a city buy houses just so the homeless can live in them is absolute absurd and not a bright idea. Ypsi township has Habitat take over houses and then rebuilds them making that home owner responsible for that house and its up keep. There is no such thing as affordable housing when after reading last year a lot of folks could not afford food. So if they cannot afford food they cannot afford a house. Stop making the government responsible for peoples ills. There are jobs out there and if they want the hand outs? Go get em. Otherwise, affordable house is only a dream. The wake up call is getting a job and keeping the house.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

"A vacant lot at 1560 Hickory Hollow in Dexter is up $500 from its minimum bid price of $1,000." This is hard to believe, this is a nice country sub on a cul-de-sac.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

As the City of Ann Arbor looks to solve its affordable housing issues, it could purchase complete houses at auction for beneficiaries. The auction sale unit price is far below anything that could be developed new, and beneficiary occupants would not have to live under the stigma of being in a housing "project." For example, Avalon Housing wisely uses a decentralized housing philosophy in its mode of operation. The City of Ann Arbor could follow their model, providing maximum benefit for beneficiaries, as well as investment.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

With whose money? On top of the purchase price you can add $50,000 plus to bring many up to livable condition


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

Good thought, a2grate. Unfortunately, most houses destined for auction are badly neglected and often simply unlivable. But not always.