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Staten Islanders Are Buying Up Cheap Detroit Property

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Brian Nichols contributed to the research for this post.

Remember this building from the tax auction? Curbed Detroit did a little digging to find out what is up with the new owners who apparently like ferry boats. Their company is called "S.I. Housing Development, LLC" and the "S.I." stands for Staten Island (that little island of NYC that is the ugly stepsister to Manhattan). They got the Saint Rita apartment building pictured for $5,300 in last fall's tax auction. So does this deal reek of out-of-state speculation already? We're probably going to have to wait it out a bit.

? Here is another thing S.I. Devel Co. owns. This is 1243 Elsmere Street, another brick-ish looking apartment building. We see a theme here and it seems to be rotting apartment buildings.

In general, the tax situation is not great. S.I. Devel. Co. LLC swooped into Detroit in 2011 and bought a ton of properties from Wayne County that were in foreclosure as well as properties from private owners. A quick (not entirely comprehensive) search indicates that they owe at least $25,000 in back taxes all told and $6,606 on the Saint Rita alone. But if you are feeling generous, you can take into account they have not owned many of these places for a whole year yet and may not have gotten the chance to take care of those bills.

? Here's the Hazelwood Apartment building, another S. I. Devel Co acquisition. LoopNet says there are 18 units and 35,000 square feet. It also claims the building is partially fire-damaged. Oh shit.

Other holdings in Detroit (by no means does this list cover them all), include commercial buildings in Detroit at 17722 W. McNichols and 1200 E. State Fair; both appear to be abandoned.

? Our fourth look at this company's holdings is a departure; it is in Lincoln Park and listed for sale. They are asking $35,900 for this property at 1164 Fort Street.

The verdict at this point? This smells of speculation but we'll continue to track these properties for signs of development. We're all for out-of-town investment (from New York and everywhere else with cash on hand) just not those that sit around letting property rot while they wait for the market to improve thanks to other people's hard work.

· Saint Rita Apartment Building Coverage [Curbed Detroit]

Saint Rita Apartments

35 Owen St. , Detroit, MI