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City sells house eyed for rehab project

Alex Doty • Jan 7, 2017 at 12:00 PM

The city is moving on from a plan to rehab an east-side house that it had purchased off the foreclosure rolls.

City Council approved the sale of the property at 1345 Columbus Ave. for $27,500 earlier this week.

City Manager Pat McGinnis said the house was bought about three years ago for about $10,000.

“The city gets first dibs when those foreclosure rolls go up,” he noted.

It was purchased with the intention of renovating the space and then allowing an income-eligible family to purchase it. The city planned to use a short-term mortgage through the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation to cover project costs, complete the rehab and sell the house.

“We saw it as an opportunity to ... make some small investment in the property and resell the property to a qualified family so we’d have an owner-occupied, safe, affordable dwelling on Columbus,” McGinnis explained. "It was a property that had gone through many years of neglect and blight, so it was in pretty rough shape.”

Despite working over the past couple of years to make the project happen, McGinnis said they weren’t able to get the project to a point where it was financially feasible and that the city could break even.

“We’ve got an individual who is interested in bidding on it, and intends to occupy it for his family residence and make the improvements himself,” he said, noting that the purchaser is a licensed contractor.

Officials say the new owner has agreed to perform the rehab listed in a proposal set forth by the city’s building inspector, and rehab conditions being imposed on the property have been laid out in a document by the city’s attorney in the form of a recordable restrictive covenant.

“We have no interest in being involved in the property any further,” McGinnis said. “We’re feeling confident this owner will do what he says he’s going to do and occupy this home, and it’ll be in good shape.”

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