Developer Withdraws Bid on Thousands of Detroit Area Blighted Properties

Posted by Steph Kaye on Thursday, November 6th, 2014 at 3:15pm.

Detroit Strong

Eco Solutions, a developer, has withdrawn their deal to acquire more than 6,300 Detroit-area blighted properties in a county tax foreclosure auction just one week after winning the bid, a county official said on Wednesday. Eco Solutions based in Texas, withdrew its bid with the Wayne County Treasurer's Office for the properties in and around the city of Detroit targeted for redevelopment, Wayne County Treasurer Ray Wojtowicz said in a statement.

Herb Strather, a Detroit real estate developer who is working with Eco Solutions, said last week "his group intended to fix up some of the properties to help get low-income residents into homes and to turn over some vacant lots for community groups to develop". Eco Solutions bid close to $3.2 million in the October auction for the 6,365 properties titled a "blight bundle" by Wayne County and put down a nonrefundable 10% deposit. Strather did not say why the bid was withdrawn.

Detroit is home to about 70,000 abandoned or blighted properties and Wayne County bundled the properties for the auction to discourage people that often win properties and then fail to redevelop them.  Because of the withdrawal, Detroit Land Bank Authority could eventually take ownership of the properties  Strather said his group was in discussions with the authority.

Land Bank Authority spokesman Craig Fahle said "Strather met with executive director Richard Wiener last week, but Fahle added that the authority was not negotiating with the group as it did not own the properties". About 3,000 of the plots are properties that are  definite candidates for restoration, 2,000 are empty lots and 1,000 have buildings that must be demolished, county officials said.

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