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Posted on Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 10:58 a.m.

Properties owned by jailed Ypsilanti landlord David Kircher put up for sale

By Tom Perkins


A condemned Kircher-owned home at 302 E. Cross Street is listed for $48,000.

Tom Perkins | For

Jailed landlord David Kircher’s Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township homes are on the market.

Colliers International is asking $947,000 for a portfolio of around 35 properties. The catch: many are condemned, in serious disrepair or are now vacant lots where homes were demolished.

Kircher filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Detroit in February, and on March 7 a judge approved a motion to appoint a trustee to oversee Kircher's assets.

Kircher is serving a five-year term 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 in 2004.


A condemned Kircher-owned home at 22 N. Lincoln Street is listed for $32,000.

Tom Perkins | For

Colliers’ Jim Chaconas and Brendan Cavender were hired by the court-appointed trustee to complete the sale of the properties.

Cavender said Colliers is most interested in selling the properties as a package, but would also consider smaller groups of homes or individual parcels.

“We are open to different options,” he said, adding properties in different areas are good for different uses. “Those close to campus would be good for (a developer who) believes in Ypsilanti and has a good outlook for the city. There are also single-family homes where someone would want to live, like on South Summit, which are beautiful houses but need to be fixed up."

All back taxes owed on the property are included as part of the sale, Cavender said, and the individual unit price is the fair market value. Those values range from $15,000 each for two homes on Buick Street in Ypsilanti Township to $200,000 for a 12,500-square-foot apartment building on Washtenaw Avenue.


A condemned Kircher-owned home for sale at 1536 Foley Street in Ypsilanti Township.

Tom Perkins | For

Colliers inspected each property to determine what a fair price would be, given the state of disrepair, Cavendar said.

Among the Ypsilanti properties are: 118 Ballard Street, 424 Ballard, 125 College Place, 130 College Place, 107 E. Cross Street, 302 E. Cross, 5 Driscoll Court, 3 Driscoll Court, 422 N. Hamilton Street, 220 N. Lincoln Street, 707 Pearl Street, 414 Perrin Street, 50 S. Summit Street, 46 S. Summit, 116 N. Summit, 43 S. Summit, 49 S. Summit, 11 S. Summit, 413 Washtenaw Ave., 313 Washtenaw and 315 Washtenaw.

The Ypsilanti Township homes include: 850 Allen Ave., 1145 Buick Street, 1133 Buick, 1144 Buick, 1766 Eileen Street, 1536 Foley Ave., 649 Oswego Ave., 661 Oswego and 1117 Holmes Road.

Court 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. Cavender said Eastern Highlands isn’t listed among those properties for sale and he isn’t sure what will happen with it.


A Kircher-owned home on Summit Street in Ypsilanti.

Tom Perkins | For

Ypsilanti Township is aggressively dealing with blighted properties and has already successfully received court orders for demolition of several Kircher properties.

Ypsilanti Township Attorney Doug Winters said building department officials have been inspecting Kircher’s houses throughout the week to determine what must be done to bring them up to code.

He said anyone who is considering buying a Kircher property will be made aware of the code violations.

Winters said anyone who buys the properties will have to bring them up to code. “We’re going to deal with these properties one way or another,'' he said. "If we find someone who can do that, great. But we’re not going to have a situation where we go from one slumlord to another.”



Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

It's about time the courts took care of this scofflaw.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

This sounds like an absolutely horrible deal for any potential suitor: 1. you owe back taxes. 2. you are getting properties that are better off demolished than repaired, but demolishing is not cheap. 3. if you don't demolish, you have to spend tends of thousands to repair on top of an average of ~$30k per property. Colliers, as the middle man needs to make a buck at the expense of any possible buyer. The city should just wipe out the taxes, demolish the properties, and sell the lots.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

Selling these in bulk will almost guarantee that another slumlord will buy them. Do they expect one person to buy them and then families to move in? Also, I don't get the "back taxes are included in the sale price". Do they want to sell them or not? Wayne County tried to recover back taxes too in their auctions and then had to go to a system of offering properties for $500 starting bid and then still had problems selling them.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

Oops, willywonka was faster :)


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 12:57 p.m.

Selling these in a block will only encourage another landlord to make a quick buck with inferior housing. Please sell as individual properties and encourage single-family home ownership in Ypsi!


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 11:53 p.m.

I called today about one of the properties that my husband and I would like to purchase. Mr. Cavender told me that the properties are only for sale as an entire portfolio, not individually as the article states. He said that there would have to be some sort of court order (?) to allow properties to be sold individually, and that the very soonest that *might* happen would be next month.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

Did Chapter 11 prevent tax foreclosure? I think they're trying to sell houses already owned by the county?


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

This is great news for Ypsilanti - so many of these buildings are dangerous and eyesores to boot. Some of the prices might be a bit hopeful though!


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 7:54 p.m.

The picture of the house at 302 Cross Street makes me sad. That is a beautiful house with so much character. The architectural detail is amazing and appears to still be intact. My wish is that someone will buy it and bring it back to it's former glory. Such a pretty house. I'm thinking about how proud the first owners were that had it built, and how proud the carpenters were to build it.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

My family dealt extensively with antiques and finding of old homes ready to be demolished. Saved wood and used again on other homes or saved to be used again. If you search? You can find things to rebuild that one, I too would love to own. Not sure if I am ready to renovate another house....again. As for the plants and trees? Most times if the basement is built well? You might find the basement is still well preserved.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

I agree. Not only do older homes have history and character, but also the carpentry and the materials that went into them cannot be found today. Instead of pressboard, you have oak. Of course the electrical, insulation, plumbing etc. will have to be replaced. Often you will need work done on the basement. To me, that is all worth it. I have never owned anything newer than 1950's and never will. I just wish the neighborhoods in Ypsi were more liveable. I love that it is a college town, I love the architecture and history, I love the festivals and events and I love the Depot area, but I could do without the crime and decay.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

Just, very much agree. Worried about the extensive tree growth around the foundation (roots in basement?) and no idea what a succession of renters and slumlord has done inside. One can hope.

Life in Ypsi

Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

I'm not saying the landlord is without fault, but the tenants played a huge role in the property demise. I know this personally. It's a shame when tenants continually destroy property and the landlord ends up going into debt because of it. To top it off many tenants stop paying rent and making it that much harder for the landlord to have money to pay for upkeep. Where is the outrage and accountability for tenants that continually destroy homes in our neighborhoods? Sure the landlord can evict, but it's a lengthy and costly process. Then there is usually tenants who destroy the property out of anger for being evicted. Yes, the court can rule the tenant has to pay for damages, but good luck getting any of the money. It's not so simple. The paper makes this guy out to be a menace when they are not reporting all of the facts that have led to his demise. There are several other landlords who had similar issues because of problematic tenants.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 3:47 a.m.

"If people are renting a home they are responsible for yard upkeep..." Depending upon the lease this is may or may not be true. It hasn't been the case for any of the places I have rented or looked at in Ypsi. My last landlord mowed the grass for the first time in June. The guests at our memorial day bbq were standing in our yard with grass up to their knees.

Life in Ypsi

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

I am surrounded by rental homes and the tenants continually destroy them. Background checks and landlord references help, but make no guarantees. Besides, where I live stable renters are not interested in living. If people are renting a home they are responsible for yard upkeep and yet many times the grass goes uncut and snow remains on the sidewalk. To top it off investing $20 in trash cans seems to be at the bottom of the to do list. Week after week trash bags are just thrown to the curb for stray dogs to rip open. Did I mention the huge trash piles that stay at the curb despite a trash limit that has been in effect for quite some time? I just reminded myself time to make another call to Ypsi Township. My friend had a job that required her to move out of state. She decided to keep her home here and rent it out. Everything sounded good. Long term job and good references. The tenant stopped paying rent as soon as she moved in. While the eviction proceedings were happening this tenant destroyed the home. With no incoming rent from this property my friend had her home foreclosed. Another friend felt sorry for a family who was homeless and featured in a newspaper. She contacted the woman and let her move in at one of her properties. Again, no rent was paid. My friend started the eviction proceedings so the family decided to take revenge. They took an ax and broke all the walls and pipes in the house. There are many more stories I could tell about bad renters who don't pay rent and destroy the property from my personal and employment experiences.

Red Floyd

Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

I also know that many landlords, both good and bad, do not do background and/or reference checks before renting an apartment. If I was a landlord, and I took pride in the place I owned, and didn't want folks renting it who would trash it, I would do background and reference checks. You don't want to call the place they're CURRENTLY living, because if they're a nightmare tenant, the landlord may give a glowing endorsement to get them OUT of his/her place. But calling the places they previously lived would be very insightful. They way I see it though, if your tenants are trashing the house, you probably don't care much about the house to begin with, otherwise you would've been more responsible in the process.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

@Life, I dont know about that. I was in court one day when Kircher told the judge something along the lines that it was cheaper for him to just keep paying all the fines for building and code violations on this properties than it was to fix them up. Kircher is (or at one time) a multi millionaire. He could have fixed up his properties he chose not to. The only good to come out of a Kircher house was that Whip It was filmed in part of one on Summit St, lol


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 8:33 p.m.

The guy is in prison for dumping an apartment complex worth of raw sewage into the Huron. He is completely at fault. I have toured quite a few apartments in Ypsi trying to find a place to live. A lot of them haven't had so much as the carpet replaced in 40 years. They're dumps and it's the fault of a couple generations of slumlords. The houses around town that look like dumps, look like dumps due to landlord neglect. The tenants aren't spending their Saturdays peeling paint off the sides of their house, or planting waste high weeds in the yards. There are plenty of decent landlords in Ypsi that make a buck and maintain their properties. The slumlords have no excuses.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 6:42 p.m.

here is a link to Mr. Kircher's (aka 624025) current activities.

Patty Bradley

Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

"All back taxes owed on the property are included as part of the sale." Does this mean that whomever buys the properties will owe the back taxes?


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

If I had the money I would bring one up to code. Especially on Ballard. Can we say college folk?

Tom Perkins

Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

The back taxes are included in the sale price.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

It's a shame that someone like Kirchner could ruin a once fine and proud town. He's not alone in that, of course, but he certainly played his exploitative part in the last two or three decades.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

Mr. Perkins, you might want to check the last quote in the article. I imagine it should probably say "...they are going *to have to* bring them up to all code..." This seems like good news for Ypsilanti and the township. I hope they find good new owners.

Tony Dearing

Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 4:01 p.m.

Thanks. That sentence has been recast.