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Posted on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Blight Beat: Ann Arbor will ask bank to demolish or repair deteriorating home

By Tom Perkins


The home at 2365 Pinecrest in Ann Arbor first came to the attention of city officials in 2006.

Tom Perkins | For

Ann Arbor officials are preparing to ask a bank to repair or demolish a home that has sat vacant in an east Ann Arbor neighborhood since 2006.

The home, at 2365 Pinecrest Ave., is on the city’s dangerous building list because it has sat abandoned for so long and is beginning to deteriorate. Its listed owner is LaSalle Bank, which was acquired by Bank of America in 2007.

Ralph Welton, the planning and development department’s chief development official, said the city hasn’t yet contacted the bank, but the home will be brought before the city’s Building Board of Appeals for a show cause hearing at some point in the next several months.

LaSalle will have the opportunity to make its case against demolition and state its intentions for moving forward with the property.

If the board rules against the bank, the city will order the home demolished within 20 days after sending out notice. If LaSalle fails to demolish the home, the city will pay for the demolition and place a lien on the property.


2365 Pinecrest.

Tom Perkins | For

“Usually when the banks find out what we’re doing, they’ll secure the building and hire contractors to do repairs,” Welton said.

The property is assessed at $62,500, giving it an estimated market value of $125,000. The amount owned on the property at the time of its June 2006 foreclosure was $127,743, according to city records.

City records also show the home was first brought to building officials’ attention in September 2006.

Among issues at the property is a deteriorating roof that allows the elements to get inside the home. A tarp was placed over the roof, but the tarp has since shredded.

“Things like a tarp on the roof brings the neighbors into us pretty quick,” Welton said.

Parts of the interior have been stripped, siding is falling off sections of the home and the soffits are deteriorating in spots. The backyard is strewn with debris and garbage.

The bank and the home's previous owner will receive notification of the hearing before Building Board of Appeals.

“Once you get them in the loop the banks usually respond pretty well,” Welston said. “They’re trying to turn these properties over and they can’t do that when they’ve been demolished. "

The home on Pinecrest is a block from a burned-out home that also concerned neighbors before it was demolished early this year.

Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter for



Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 3 p.m.

"Parts of the interior have been stripped, siding is falling off sections of the home and the soffits are deteriorating in spots. " Soffits? I've always heard them called eaves?

Paul Wiener

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

Great idea. Now if the city would just get to the few dozen other much worse-looking, decrepit, rotting and much more visible properties, I'll be impressed.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

If the City would post some paperwork on the front door, it could become the new home of Camp Take-A-Notice.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

Amazing! A fleet of comments damning Ann Arbor city officials for not moving faster (and for other gripes of the posters), but not a single word about Bank of America, which has owned the house for five years? Another point: hasn't troubled itself to tell us when the photo in the article was taken. Is that the current condition of the property, or what it looked like three years ago? One would think that any outfit aspiring to journalism might have told us that.

Basic Bob

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 4:18 p.m.

How does the city continue to assess at market value when the property is clearly worth less than the comparables? The back taxes have to be a major impediment to rehabbing the property when you could buy homes in better condition with a clear title.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

What about all the vacant homes along Main Street and Summit? Surely, the city could tear down these eyesores!!!

Ann English

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

jns131, I wonder if they're making their way north on Main Street, tearing down empty buildings. The empty ones closest to downtown go first, those on the west side of Main across from the Huron River go last.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:26 p.m.

Actually surprise surprise they did tear down something over there. A church and a house. Wow.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

I don't understand why this comment was voted down. The handling of these properties is the sole reason why I'm changing the way I vote for Council members.

Tom Joad

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

You call that dilapidated? A new roof, clean-up and some general repairs and you have a very livable home.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

Why can't they do that with Georgetown Mall? Is it just me or does this seem to be especially prevalent in the 4th ward?


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

ann arbor has Blight? they told in school that ann arbors super clean ;)

Jim Osborn

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

Why this business of tearing down homes? One would think that the owner, the bank, would sell it to someone who would fix it up ans either live in it, flip it, or rent it. I might buy it for $30,000, perhaps more, but I have not seen the inside nor the outstanding tax bill. Most likely it was worth a lot more 5 years ago. Why would the bank just let it sit for 6 years, costing them so much money?


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

The value of something is ONLY what someone is willing to pay. The reason no one has bought these properties to "fix up" is because there is no value in them and no one is willing to pay even meager amounts for them. The amount of work to fix these houses up is far more than what they would be they never sell. I'm wondering how many of these abandoned houses were former "punk houses."


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:25 p.m.

You're kidding, right? Might want to see why Ypsilanti Township has torn theirs down. Because the banks are walking away from this too. Especially when they feign dumbness and say we did not know we owned it. Yup, Scotland Bank said that one. Do the math on that one. True story.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

Also....the house on the northwest corner of Ashley and Kingsley. I used to live there, and at one time it was a neat old house but unfortunately the slumlord owner who only showed up once a month to collect rent let it run into the ground. this property has since been tagged as uninhabitable and sadly needs to be torn down.

Ann English

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:30 p.m.

Wasn't there a recent story about blight at First Street and Kingsley? Just one street over, running in the opposite direction.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

rebuild the old house... save the history of the location.

Angry Sasquatch

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

To continue on Mitch's point, I wish A2 officials would do something about the three abandoned houses in a row on the west side of Platt Rd, just north of 94. The house across from Colonial Square has been in it's decaying state for several years.

Ann English

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

I wonder if one of those houses is IMMEDIATELY north of I-94. I remember a news story about a resident there being angry at the people who decided to replace the old Platt Road bridge with a higher one, and that affected the terrain of his property. It's harder to see that house from Platt today, with the new, higher bridge. You give me the impression that he moved away out of disgust with the city government and the bridge constructors. He had lived there for over 20 years.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:23 p.m.

They are still learning from Ypsilanti Township. One house at a time. Actually they might want to figure out how Detroit got that grant to tear down 1500 houses in one year. Never know what will work.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

@Angry I so agree with you. The garage door is up and anyone can get in or be injured. They were supposed to tear them down a year ago! Guess buying art is more important.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:59 a.m.

How do we get the house on Dexter first west of Keuhnle fixed up. I have never known anyone to live there.


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

You mean that burned out shell of a house that's been sitting there for years abandoned? I have a feeling it's going to be ignored for a long time....MOST people don't even know it's there because it sits so far back from the road AND it's sandwiched between two other houses. I've always feel so bad for those neighbors to that property though. That's gotta be such an eyesore.

Ann English

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

It does sound like yet another vacant house deteriorating with many occupied houses all around it. Could it be that the unoccupied houses get "lost in the crowd"? Where house are further apart, the dilapidated ones stick out more, especially if they're not on dead-end roads.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:35 a.m.

Six Years!!!! I agree with Goober. The city's excuse will be they need more people to be added to the payroll before, Fire/police safety and ridding our neighborhoods of vacant, rundown homes is no their priority list.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

Actually Georgetown will beat that record by a mile. Looks like AA needs a tougher stance on home wrecking.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 10:38 a.m.

Friday's email subject line "Bllight beat".... Blight

Paula Gardner

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 10:43 a.m.

Groan. Thank you. That's my mistake, and I apologize.

Pamela Bethune

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 10:25 a.m.

What took the city so long to take this action? 2006 was a very long time ago!


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

Actually the truth be known they were taking notes from Ypsilanti Township on how to properly tell the banks to fix it or tear it down. I think they understood their handwriting finally.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:03 a.m.

They're too busy working on other priorities like buying art, planning for the new rail station and deciding where to build the next parking garage. Fire/police safety and ridding our neighborhoods of vacant, rundown homes is not their priority. Go figure!