A dozen dilapidated properties once owned by David Kircher headed for auction at month's end
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
Twelve remaining properties that once belonged to jailed Ypsilanti landlord David Kircher will be back on the market, this time in a Washtenaw County tax foreclosure auction.
Bidding on the properties, which are mostly in poor condition, begins on Nov. 30 and ends on Dec. 3.
Interested buyers can see the listings here.
Washtenaw County Treasurer Catherine McClary said the City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township properties are mostly in bad condition but are a good opportunity for a local buyer looking to turn the homes into student housing or rental units.
“My staff and outside experts looked at these properties, and for the most part they are derelict and causing a blight on the community,” McClary said. “The auction is going to be a good opportunity for someone who is a local bidder who should take time to look at them, walk around the outside, look in the windows, do their research, and decide if they’re worth bidding on.”
Among the properties are:
- 302 E. Cross Street
- 220 N. Lincoln Street
- 50 S. Summit Street
- 424 Ballard Street
- 5 Driscoll Court
- 118 Ballard Street
- 49 S. Summit Street
- 315 Washtenaw Avenue
- 661 Oswego Avenue
- 649 Oswego Avenue
- 1536 Foley Avenue
- 1117 Holmes Road
The total due in back taxes from all the properties is $220,996.
Kircher is serving a 5-year prison term for illegally pumping raw sewage into the Huron River from the Eastern Highlands apartment complex on LeForge Road in Ypsilanti Township.
He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February and that was converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in June.
As of April, Kircher held around $2.7 million in debt. The largest debt is to the State of Michigan, to which he owes $1.1 million for dumping the raw sewage.
Another property in Northfield Township was demolished by the township and will be converted into a parking lot to serve a senior center.
The current properties up for auction were headed to tax foreclosure in February, but when Kircher filed for bankruptcy, a stay was placed on them.
McClary said her office intervened in the bankruptcy proceedings because the county had a proof of claim to file for all the taxes.
“It is my intent as treasurer to collect the taxes,” she said. “We also felt the bankruptcy was really not in the public good, because of the taxes that were owed.”
Some of the properties were cherry-picked and sold by the bankruptcy trustee, which McClary said is a positive because all of those back taxes were paid.
Offers were submitted for four remaining properties - 220 N. Lincoln, 424 Ballard, 5 Driscoll Court and 49 S. Summit - but there was not a good chain of title when it came time to sell them. McClary said she thinks those properties are among the best on the auction block.
If the properties don’t sell, there will be a no-bid auction on December 14. If they still don’t sell, the county will give them to the city or township.
"I highly recommend a potential buyer researches and does due diligence as to what the potential problems are,” McClary said. “All properties have been abandoned and unoccupied for a number of years, because (Kircher) has been in prison.”