Concannon: Saline's Village Marketplace & Lofts likely heading for tax foreclosure
The 1.5 acres in downtown Saline once planned for Village Marketplace & Lofts is listed among several commercial real estate properties included in this month's Washtenaw County tax foreclosures - and its developer says payment of the late 2008 taxes is unlikely by the March 31 deadline.
The result: The property ownership would shift to the county, which would auction it later this year.
Michael Concannon, owner of the Village Marketplace property on West Michigan Avenue, indicates he will not pay the $54,000 redemption amount for four plots of land. Lienholders on the property also could redeem the back taxes and take possession of the land, officials said, but it's unclear whether anyone will step forward.
He reiterated previous public statements that when the financing fell through for the development, the project basically died.
"We basically have no means to do anything," Concannon said.
The project, which was to include 30 residences and retail space in 63,000-square-foot structure, was also declared a nuisance by Judge David Swartz in November. In a lawsuit filed by the city, Swartz ordered the owner to pay the undisclosed cost of remediating the land, which is now a shallow hole in the ground.
Saline City Manager Todd Campbell said the city is exploring how to proceed, given the developer's apparent lack of ability to meet the judge's orders.
"At this point, we're reviewing possible enforcement measures and waiting to see what will happen," he said.
Meanwhile, County Treasurer Catherine McClary said a date for the county's foreclosure auction has not been set.
McClary said that recently lien holders, especially banks, have been more hesitant to redeem commercial property than in the past. She's expecting at least 400 development lots, for example, to go unredeemed this year.
"People are being very picky all of a sudden," she said. "Normally, in the old days, banks always paid."
McClary emphasize that she encouraged property owners in danger of falling behind in their taxes to call her office at 222-6600.
Dan Meisler is a freelance reporter.