Business Writer Jon Zemke has already bought six fixer-upper buildings in Detroit and just can't help but spot more he'd buy if he could. In his ongoing series "The Fix" he takes us to the very best money pits the city has to offer.
You know what a tree hugger is, right? The people that just can't let a single leafy friend be claimed by someone's capitalistic desire to build a highway/house/parking lot/shopping mall. Well sometimes, I see a real estate listing that makes me want to grasp a ton of bricks with my arms. That's right: I am a building hugger. Or at least I was until I met the Motor City's most unhuggable building: the well-abused Kingsley Arms Apartments.
At first glance, the Kingsley has a lot of things that will make just about any building hugger coming running with arms extended. A good huggable building is like a sweet helpless puppy; it makes you want to help it! Unfortunately the price of the Kingsley is something that makes me lose sympathy and desire for it entirely. The seller is asking for $89,000 for this vacant, scrapped out foreclosure. Not surprisingly, this has sat on the market since Feb. 5, 2010 without anyone willing to pony up nearly 100K up front for this multi-million dollar money pit in a section city yet to be touched by gentrification. [The Saint Rita apartment building was just bought in the foreclosure auction for just $5,300!]
That's a shame. Kingsley Arms has several things going for it that other similar less-fortunate apartment buildings in the city don't. Its address, 646 Hazelwood, is less than two blocks away from the proposed Holbrook stop on the Woodward Light Rail line. Its 36 units isn't too overbearing of a number to rehab. An older LoopNet ad puts its roof at less than 10 years old. It has also only been vacant for two years or less.
And then there is the architecture. Nearly five stories of Tudor Rival with classic split beam and stone accents. They just don't make these 1920s beauties anymore. Enjoy gawking at the ruin porn of Kingsley Arms (and its similarly beautifully abandoned neighbor the Lee Arden Apts) here .