Here's some unsurprising news: Herb Strather, the casino investor/developer who cast the winning (and only) bid for the tax auction's Blight Bundle, no longer wants to pay $3.2M for the pleasure of owning 6,350 blighted properties scattered across Detroit. Herb now tells the Free Press that his bid will be retracted, allowing the bundle to continue into the warm embrace of the Detroit Land Bank.
Herb initially planned to work with local churches and well-monied partners to redevelop the properties. Unfortunately, he was also under the impression that the Detroit Land Bank would help him pay to demolish the thousands of burnt-out houses for the benefit of a private developer, which it can't legally do. Despite wasting so much of everyone's time, Herb will get a refund for his $315k deposit.
UPDATE (2:33 PM): The Detroit News reports that Herb only expects to get 10% of his deposit back.
· The Tax Auction's $3M Blight Bundle Bidder Comes Forward [Curbed]
· Developer cancels purchase of 6,000 Detroit parcels [Freep]