Detroit to Auction Landmark Lafayette Towers

One of Detroit's landmarks, the Lafayette Towers, has been foreclosed and is set to be auctioned.

Detroit has seen some miserable times since giving a chance to Kwame Kilpatrick.  But its whoas didn’t really start with him.  The city began to decline with Dennis Archer and the selling off of the downtown area.  As soon as Mayor Coleman Young was forced to hand over the reins of the city to Archer the outside developers moved in overnight and so did casino after casino. The multiple casinos, in my opinion, began to inadvertently drain the resources of the community.

But one major deal that’s gone south in the city is the properties sold to the Northern Group Inc. back in 2005 (during Kwame’s administration).  According to the Detroit News, the New York based company bought three major downtown properties: Penobscot Building, Lafayette Towers and the Alden Park Towers apartments on East Jefferson.  Now, Lafayette Towers has been foreclosed and is set to be auctioned next week, July 18.

Lafayette Park was once a beautiful area with the Lafayette Towers as its centerpiece of elegant downtown living.  Now the Towers have  been diminished by poor upkeeping by its owners and residents complain about the cockroaches, lack of heat, poor security and overall decay.

After purchasing the Towers, the company borrowed against the property.  They were able to purchase it for $16 million, but borrowed $22.8 million against it in 2009, the year after its purchase.  And promised in the same year to break ground on a $150 million skyscraper in another prime real estate area of downtown Detroit, Campus Martius Park.  But they had already buried themselves in debt and that project, obviously hasn’t been realized.

It is a shame that major landmarks such as this have been thrown on the roulette wheel of investments and such disregard has been shown by these so-called “developers.”  Any developer worth their salt knows that development means to build and make better not buy it and accelerate its demise.

Read more here.

-J.C. Brooks

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