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A Roundup of Steals: The First Round of the Fall Tax Auction

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This post was authored by Amy Swift.

The first round of the Wayne County Tax Auction ends later today, but auctions on individual buildings have been closing on a rolling basis all week. According to the Why Don't We Own This? website, as of this morning 237 properties have sold to 76 bidders for $3,941,056 in Round 1. But that's not all folks! Currently there are still over 200 more properties with open bids that will close throughout the day, on track to bring in about $9 million dollars in tax revenue. While there is still a majority of the 20,000+ properties up for grabs, there have been some major steals in this round. While "Menayak" (read: "maniac") may lead the pack in quantity of properties sold (he/she/meme is up to 87 at this point), we've gathered a round up of some of the more quality wins that we've found.

3230 Gratiot
Winner: chris mihailovich
Winning bid: $11,100
A property we predicted would be one to watch (patting selves on back), the Goeschel Building is in serious disrepair but is (redeemingly) a serious art-deco gem on a major commercial corridor. We were hoping this one would go to an owner with a vision and not some sort of speculator jerk, so we're intrigued by the meme that won. If "chris mihailovich" is indeed Chris Mihailovich, fabled "spiritual godfather" of the People's Arts Festival at The Russell, this could be an exciting development to watch. Never fear, dear reader. We'll keep snooping around until we find out what the intentions are for this site.


3475 Cass
Winner: pierre leblanc
Winning bid: $94,000
This property is all about location, location, location. Last sold in 1978 (the oldest last sale date we've seen in this auction), this parcel sits at a major intersection in Midtown across the street from the Cass-Davenport Historic District and just a block from the Whole Foods to come. We predicted this would be a hot commercial property to watch (we're not bragging or anything), but we certainly weren't expecting a glorified parking lot to bring in the 5th highest bid price so far. Still, if the meme "pierre leblanc" is actually Pierre LeBlanc of New Detroit Realty, we have to assume he knows what he's doing with this one.


3960 Third Ave
Winner: joeearly
Winning bid: $22,500
While the condition of the building may be questionable (one commenter suggests the side of the building is falling over), the property overall has a few things going for it. Again, this is a location grab. Situated at the southern edge of the Midtown development area within walking distance of Avalon and Slow's To-Go, even if the building is indeed structurally a bust, the land is certainly a commodity. But we're hoping "joeearly" knows a good structural engineer because dayyymn does this have some charm potential. Unbrick those windows and spruce up the facade and you've got yourself a great little retail front. IOHO.


630 Virginia Park
Winner: mohamed1
Winning bid: $23,509
Located on a quaint cobbled section of Virginia Park St, this beautiful house was a definite steal at this year's auction. As a Sigma Pi fraternity house, we have to assume the interior is a god awful mess (you remember college, right?), but "mohamed1" inherited some long-term tenants with the purchase and always has the option to renovate this beaut back to its original single-family glory.


40 Hague
Winner: jigneshpatel
Winning bid: $67,600
This may seem like an unlikely pick for this list, but hear us out. This is a lovely turn-key warehouse-turned-office building just off Woodward in the North End neighborhood. With New Center rolled into Midtown Detroit Inc.'s scope of development activity, North End is the new fringe zone. If you believe in transit oriented development (its not a myth people!), the M-1 rail is slated to bring billions of dollars of investment to the neighborhoods along its path. Although the first phase of the M-1 will now stop short of Hague, the distance to the last stop will be roughly the distance from the Fischer Building to Tech Town. Starting to see things our way that this was a good real estate move?


207 E. Baltimore
Winner: wynectyautn2012
Winning bid: $21,300
Now this property, in addition to having a lot of the same charm potential as the Third Ave property on the list, is in an oft overlooked section of New Center that has a rugged yet marketable industrial rail aesthetic (think Chelsea in NYC). Located a block off Woodward's future light-rail development within walking distance of New Center's major high-rise commercial center, this was a smart acquisition with potential.

· Five Commercial Properties To Watch in the Next Tax Auction [Curbed Detroit]
· Someone Has Already Bought 52 Properties in The Tax Auction [Curbed Detroit]
· Why Don't We Own This? [Official]