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Posted on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Jailed Ypsilanti landlord David Kircher files for bankruptcy

By Tom Perkins


Many Kircher properties, like this one on S. Summit Street in Ypsilanti, are in a state of disrepair.

Tom Perkins | For

Jailed landlord David Kircher, who is among the largest landowners in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, has filed for bankruptcy.

Kircher filed for chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit last month, and on March 7 a judge approved a motion to appoint a chapter 11 trustee to oversee Kircher's assets.

According to court documents, Kircher owns 36 properties in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, which are valued at approximately $5.6 million. Of those, 10 are owned by Kircher's Acme Building Company, and around 10 Ypsilanti Township properties are headed to tax foreclosure this month.

His only income at present is listed as $2,100 monthly from rental revenue, but he listed a net income of negative $2,608.

Notably, a debt repayment plan is not included in the court papers, and Kircher's attorney, Dick Fellrath, said that the request for the court to appoint a trustee is an unusual move.

But he said it's necessary because his client is in jail and someone needs to decide which properties to sell and which properties to renovate, as well as make business decisions since Kircher is in serving a five-year prison term.

"Hopefully this will cut down on the litigation," Fellrath said.

Kircher is serving his term in state prison in Jackson for illegally diverting raw sewage into the Huron River via a public sewer from the Eastern Highlands apartment complex he owned. Ypsilanti Township officials discovered Kircher was dumping sewage there in 2004.

According to court documents, Kircher holds $2.7 million in debt. The largest debt is to the State of Michigan, to which he owes $1.1 million, mostly stemming from a fine for dumping the raw sewage. He also owes $112,448 to DTE Energy and $80,000 to Ypsilanti Township for legal fees. His former attorney, George Ward, is owed $25,000 for his services.

Documents show Kircher is involved in numerous lawsuits, one of which involves a dispute over the $3.5 million Eastern Highlands complex on LeForge Road in Ypsilanti Township.

Ypsilanti developers Barnes and Barnes was appointed receiver of the complex several years ago and was awarded a judgment against Kircher for more than $2 million in Washtenaw County Circuit Court for expenses incurred in bringing the complex up to code.

Kircher appealed that decision, and the Michigan State Appeals Court sent it back to Circuit Court. The parties are now waiting a new decision from Judge Donald Shelton.

Many of Kircher’s properties are in disrepair, and Ypsilanti Township convinced a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge to lift the automatic stay on several decaying properties Kircher owns. One has already been demolished and the township is working to find funds to demolish the other.

Another notable problematic Kircher home is on South Summit Street in Ypsilanti. It provided a haven for prostitutes and criminals over the summer, and a shooting outside a neighboring party store prompted a crackdown on crime in the vicinity.

Developer Stewart Beal owns a rental property nearby on Summit. He said he isn’t interested in trying to purchase any of Kircher’s properties because they are so dilapidated and mostly single-family homes.

He said those would be a better buy for an investor looking to flip a house or a family “willing to roll up their sleeves and take on a big project.”



Sun, Mar 11, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

36 Properties worth $5.6 million and his monthly revenue is only $2100? How did this guy survive for one second in the Real Estate business?


Sun, Mar 11, 2012 : 2:37 a.m.

See my comment above...


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

Is David Kircher relation to Everett Kircher of Boyne Resorts USA (Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands in Michigan; Big Sky in Montana; Gatlinburg Skylift in Tennessee; Crystal Mountain Resort near Seattle; and Cypress Mountain resort near Vancouver, British Columbia)?


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

The man HAS been a plague on Ypsilanti. He has contributed to the destruction of a once beautiful city. He didn't do it alone, of course, bur he has been a contributing factor. Just look at the back stories.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 6:19 p.m.

Slumlord with a capital "S". I hope when this jerk gets out of prison he doesn't resume his life of crime in owning and renting slums and polluting the Huron River with raw sewage. Maybe his jail time and unpaid fines will keep him from getting any further loans to buy dilapidated properties. How about a photo of this thug?

Life in Ypsi

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5:42 p.m.

I'm not saying this guy is a saint, but I do know from personal knowledge many of the tenants living in his properties played a large role into why they were dilapidated.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 1:58 a.m.

Well, it's tough to be a present landlord from jail.

sad day

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

Kircher has always been the slum lord of ypsilanti.

Bruce Madej

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

I am not going to comment on Kircher or Beal---but I would like to make a comment about today's journalistic efforts. I found (with just three clicks) a 2008 blog about Beal and Kircher. After reading the story then reading this blog (see link: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> ), there seems to be a lot more behind the story. Today's news is more of a snapshot instead of journalism--and I don't want to single out because it is all across the board. I did not go into any further research on this story but I would just say this: If we want to understand what is really going on besides just reading headlines and a few graphs, we need to use the resources we have in hand to find out more about a news story and particularly our community. That is the only way we will ever get to a point where we can ask 'quality questions' and get 'quality answers.' My two cents. (Sorry, I could not paste the blog into the comment section due to the character limit of the comment section)


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

How can people beat this guy down? The city of Ypsilanti is one of the biggest creators of slums and ghetto projects! Jimmy got it right; "A hand up, not a hand out!" As for the Huron River; how much sewage does "Tree Hugger Town&quot; dump downstream every time it rains?


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 12:10 a.m.

As for the Huron River; how much sewage does &quot;Tree Hugger Town&quot; dump downstream every time it rains? Is this just a senseless rant or do you have research and reports from accredited sources for this statement?


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:54 p.m.

newsboy, what on gods green earth are you talking about? This guy has been a plague on our city in particular for far too long 25 years +. He got away with terrible housing conditions, people got hurt, Thompson block became a homeless flop house. He didn't just send a 'log' or town into the huron, he allowed an apartment complex full of excrement to muddy the Huron far beyond anything A2 has done. The city doesn't create slums - where are you getting that? Subsidized housing is handled through an unchecked housing commission that isn't part of city government. if anything, our ordinances are too tight because our city wasn't able to bring Kircher, and others, into alignment (but I tend to blame cheap and inept legal council too). City didn't do that, but the city has to clean up far too much of it. get a clue or be more clear


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

Property taxes are a lien against the property and are not discharged in BK. Ypsi will get their money when the homes are sold. I don't know anything personally about this guy, but anyone who dumps raw sewage puts people at risk of hepatitis, typhoid and myriad other diseases. He deserves prison time.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:18 p.m.

The properties aren't even worth the taxes owed on them. I am surprised the houses on Summit survived the wind this week.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

He is bankrupt all right and in more ways than just the balance sheet.SLUM LORD


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

Bwahahaha! Quoting Beal, priceless! Take a drive around Ypsilanti city and township, and LOOK at some of his gems...


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

Stupid Hick, While a fire (accidental or otherwise) is probably not the ideal way to kick off a building rehab, I think you also have to remember that the City took the Thompson Block from Kirchner and the pipes in there froze and burst while the City was in possession of it .

Stupid Hick

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

And it's funny that Beal is described only as a property owner on Summit, as if the only connection to Kirchner is that they're both large landowners in Ypsilanti who have rental properties on Summit. No mention of the Thompson Block? Has anyone at been around long enough to remember how Beal acquired that property, who the prior owner was, and the condition of the building under the prior owner compared to now?


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

Two unanswered questions here: Does he owe Ypsi and Ypsi Twp. any back taxes and how much? Secondly, how does a bankruptcy filing effect the recovery of those taxes and future taxes by the city and township? What's the full financial impact of effectively removing $5.6 million from the tax rolls until this mess is straightened out?


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

Good point. He has around 20 properties in Ypsi city and owes approximately $470,000 in back taxes on those according to the city web site.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

I would hope.....he gave the term &quot; slumlord &quot; a new Danny Deveto in a movie some time back he should be forced to live in one of his crap holes ..assuming he doesn't already...


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

I think you are referring to a Joe Pesci movie named The Super. Both actors are short and known for playing crude characters, so it's easy to mix them up.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

He's living in a cell. Any one of his properties would be a step up from that.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

While we like to give everyone a chance this character has had plenty . Serving five years he is done , life is over . Such a sad story, but justice has been finally served. One has to admire his skills to first off to have the ability to get these properties. Then we see the abuse of that power, running down neighborhoods costing citizens thousands of dollars in lost value. Then the final event dumping in the sacred Huron River. This is a public body of water , he stole from all of us then. Moral of story &quot; slum lords always lose in the end &quot;.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

This guy has been a thorn in Ypsi since I can remember


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:28 p.m.

my response gets removed for saying he is disagreeable yet pickforddick's saying he is a thorn in ypsi is ok? hmmm how arbitrary


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 11:55 a.m.

Lets hope this is the beginning of the end of the Kircher plague. And lets also hope that at least the City of Ypsilanti can actually be helpful in their dealing with who ever purchases these houses instead of treating a developer more like probable criminal.