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Oakland County Real Estate Law Blog

Landlord-tenant disagreements: Construction firm to be evicted

A group of property owners has requested the U.S. Bankruptcy Court if it can issue an eviction notice to a bankrupt construction company that is inhabiting an investment property in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The petition was filed on July 16. Allegedly, the construction company has failed to pay over $45,000 in rent and has accrued late fees of about $2,300.

The real estate property at issue is a uniquely shaped cantilevered building. The main office floors of the edifice are suspended in air above its service buildings below. The now bankrupt construction firm has inhabited the premises -- which are valued at approximately $5.5 million -- since 2008.

Michigan contractor and tenants involved in housing dispute

Before entering into any real estate transaction, buyers must have a thorough understanding of everything that is — and isn't — stipulated in the contracts. Prospective buyers who do not have legal or real estate professionals review the contracts before signing may find themselves in a sticky situation as one group of Detroit residents is now discovering.

The future of the Gratiot McDougall housing project is in jeopardy, and what is sure to be a long legal battle involving landlord-tenant disagreements is currently playing out in a Wayne County court. Involved in the dispute are the current tenants in the project as well as the Oakland County developer who currently owns the property.

Downtown Grand Rapids commercial real estate increases in value

Office space in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, became more popular during the first six months of 2014. Several buildings were bought and sold, and the owners of some buildings announced remodeling and/or repurposing plans. As a result, downtown Grand Rapids has been experiencing a minor boom and a rise in leasing rates.

According to one real estate firm president who specializes in real estate in the downtown Grand Rapids area, business is better than he has seen it during the whole of his 17-year career. A 2014 mid-year report published by the Alliance of Commercial Realtors indicates that the number of new leases on office space experienced an 11.5 percent jump during the first half of 2014. The report also indicated that sales transactions increased by 45 percent.

Blighted commercial properties may be on their way out

Abandoned and dilapidated residential properties have been torn down throughout Michigan after the U.S. Treasury Department allowed money from the "Hardest Hit" foreclosure relief fund set up by the Troubled Asset Relief Program to be used to take down the homes. Now, it looks like the same thing may be happening soon with vacant and abandoned commercial properties.

According to reports, Rep. Dan Kildee has asked the Treasury Secretary to allow the funds to be used for the commercial buildings, arguing that the precedent was set when the funds were used for the residential properties. Kildee argued in a letter sent to the Treasury Secretary on July 8 that doing so would protect property values and hopefully keep residents in the area.

Zoning issues plague apartment development

A zoning change in the city of Grand Rapids could lead to a series of undesirable effects, according to residents in the area. The city commission is working to decide whether to permit purchases and sales of a corner lot on Seward Ave NW and Lake Michigan Drive. If approved, the change would allow six properties to be converted into a $15 million massive apartment complex, which would include a five-story tower and a significant amount of retail space.

Although some residents are excited about the commercial real estate proposal, others are concerned that the zoning issues that arise from the transaction would have a negative effect on their neighborhood. Some residents believe that the project will introduce too many transient residents who could damage the existing culture in the area and actually devalue the area’s real estate.

Michigan landlords want higher water deposits

Town officials in Saginaw, Michigan, are thinking of making a change to the way that water customers are allowed to open up new accounts. Until now, they had been asking people for $100 when they started an account, but they are discussing a move that would raise that total to $150.

Reports show that this new change is being mulled over because the officials met with a number of landlords who had purchased investment properties, and the alteration was discussed at that meeting. The landlords appear to be in favor of the change.

Crowdfunding set up for Michigan real estate market

A new tactic is being used in West Michigan to finance rental properties, and it is one that many people may be familiar with by now: Crowdfunding. The popular tactic has been used for many other types of projects, but a new site that is being launched is aimed at letting people invest their money directly into real estate projects in Michigan, offering them returns on that investment in the future.

The first transaction is going to involve Leonard Oaks Apartments. This is an apartment complex with a total of 72 different units. An agreement has been reached to sell the place for $2.85 million, but the executives who have the agreement are hoping to get as much as $1.4 million through their crowdfunding website, which they are now launching. If it works out, they also hope to take on more projects like this in the future.

Michigan real estate company buys headquarters of two newspapers

Bedrock Real Estate Services recently announced the purchase of the building that's home to the Detroit Media Partnership. The price of the Michigan investment property has not been disclosed. However, Detroit Media Partnership's president expressed happiness about the sale and the fact that Bedrock will be the building's new owner.

The historic building was designed by the famous architect Albert Kahn and constructed in 1917. According to the Free Press, Bedrock and its subsidiaries currently own and manage over 60 real estate properties around downtown Detroit. The properties together encompass over 9 million square feet of available space.

Michigan property management firm acquires $8.1 million complex

Maplegrove Property Management LLC, a Michigan real estate and property management firm, has finalized a deal to purchase a senior living facility and apartment complex in Ludington. The property management firm will now control the entire housing community, which boasts 172 individual apartments along with an independent senior residential facility.

The real estate firm purchased the property for $8.1 million, according to the broker who was representing the buyer during the transaction. Approximately $1.8 million of the capital used to make the purchase was acquired from various approved investors.

Indian tribe and state battle over Michigan land use

Indian tribes who build casinos on unused land often find it to be a profitable endeavor. A land use battle is taking place in Michigan over non-reservation land. The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians wants to build casinos on the land. However, a former U.S. congressman, who wrote the Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act that gave the tribe a monetary settlement,is fighting the application. He says that the land was not authorized to be used for gaming.

The tribe sought to put in trust land in Romulus and Lansing. In order to build casinos, which the tribe intends to do, it must also be proven that the land was purchased from 19th century land settlements. The tribe must also wait and see if the land can be put into a trust. It may take months to receive a response from the Department of Interior.

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