Commercial Project Facing Michigan Bank Foreclosures

by Donald Hanz on States

A proposed commercial development project in East Lansing is facing bank foreclosures in Michigan and back taxes. According to industry experts, the proposed $116.4 million City Center II project in East Lansing has fallen into foreclosure. Additionally, all the properties in the development project are delinquent in paying property taxes to the city government of East Lansing.

Strathmore Development Company, owner of the foreclosed commercial project, owed the city a total of $12,090.33 in back taxes. The total amount in back taxes owed by Strathmore to the city includes the 3 percent penalty incurred due to non-payment of taxes by August 31. Additionally, the property owner also owed about $150,000 unpaid tax since last year to Ingham County.

Meanwhile, the City Center properties that have fallen into Michigan bank foreclosures are scheduled to be auctioned off at the Ingham County Courthouse on September 17. According to industry experts, municipalities turn over delinquent tax accounts to Ingham County if they remained unpaid on or before February 28 the following year.

The City Center is a public/private partnership project between East Lansing and Strathmore. The project, started in 2004, is proposed to contain a restaurant, luxury hotel, condominiums, parking deck and a theatre/performance area in collaboration with the Michigan State University.

City Mayor Victor Loomis said that a development agreement extension could be requested between Strathmore and city but would have to be submitted before the council on or before September 15.

According to industry experts, the request for agreement extension, if granted by the city council, would be valid only until December 17. It is the date of the expiration of the special use permit of the project.

Tim Schmitt, a community development analyst, explained that the special use licence is necessary for the project’s site plan, thus, expiration of one permit means an end for the other license.

Loomis said that once the permits expire, Scott Chappelle, president of Strathmore, would be forced to start all over again, including paying all application fees. It is estimated that the application fee for both special use permit and site plan was about $1,500.

Loomis said that his decision on whether to approve an extension of development agreement will be based on the information that will be provided by Strathmore and not on the foreclosure case. Meanwhile, Chappelle said that his company is trying to work out an agreement with its lender, the Huntington National Bank.

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