As it is Wayne County foreclosure auction week here in Detroit, some old buildings are getting new owners but so far not much is known about who they are. Our reporter, Jon Zemke, the man with endless affection for a Detroit fixer-upper, looked into Corktown's City Cab building, the most expensive property purchased so far and also the only one that we know of made famous by Keira Knightley's chest. Zemke filed this report on a break from clearing beer bottles from the basement of his last auction purchase:
We know the following:
- A bidder with the handle 1965michiganave won the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction, shelling out a cool $95,100 for the small commercial building.
- That bidder only bought that property between the two auctions.
- The winner paid $1,200 less in the second auction than if they would have just bought it in the first auction for the back taxes ($96,300) in September.
- 1965 Michigan Ave is not an address of an existing building in Detroit.
So did City Cab buy it back in the auction? You see, if Wayne county forecloses on a building, clears it of unpaid taxes, and then lists it, there is no reason the previous owner can't re-buy it without the tax burden. Tricky! However, the whydontweownthis commenters had other ideas, such as a foodie court/microbrewery/biergarten. We won't know for sure until the owner files the deed, which is at least a month away.
What might this building become? A few apt comparisons that come to mind immediately include:
SPUR Studios: The VG Kids founder James Marks turned an old commercial space in Ypsilanti into studio space for creatives galore, such as graphic design entrepreneurs to artists.
B. Nektar Meadery: or Valentine Vodka. Both are fast-growing small businesses focused on niche alcohol products that turned bland commercial spaces in the burb of Ferndale into social hot spots. Check out a Friday mead tasting or a dirty martini at either to see the possibilities.
New Street Lofts: Now this is a little bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison, but it goes to show that just about any building can be turned into lofts. If downtown Mt. Clemens can support turning an old stone church into lofts then converting the City Cab building into living spaces shouldn't be all that difficult.
· 1401 Michigan Ave [whydontweownthis]
· City Cab Detroit: Buy the Building on Keira Knightley's Tee Shirt [Curbed Detroit]