Shelby Township purchased a blighted home at 8112 St. John St. in 2018, put money  into it to rehabilitate the property, and then sold the home for $130,000 to AGI Holdings Inc.,  which further updated the home and put it on the market.

Shelby Township purchased a blighted home at 8112 St. John St. in 2018, put money into it to rehabilitate the property, and then sold the home for $130,000 to AGI Holdings Inc., which further updated the home and put it on the market.

Shelby Township rehabs blighted house

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published July 8, 2019

 The home now has an  elegant bathroom; the Shelby Township treasurer said he didn’t go inside the bathroom due  to its condition when the township bought it as a tax foreclosure.

The home now has an elegant bathroom; the Shelby Township treasurer said he didn’t go inside the bathroom due to its condition when the township bought it as a tax foreclosure.

Photos provided by Shelby Township

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shelby Township officials are pleased with the results of a recent project to rehabilitate a blighted house.

Last year, Shelby Township purchased the blighted home on St. John Street, near 21 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue, for $14,102.79 as a Macomb County tax foreclosure, and the end result is a remodeled home that is now for sale.

The township invested $12,843.19 in site remediation and restoration, and then the township sold the home for $130,000 to the property’s current owner, AGI Holdings Inc., which provided the highest qualified offer of more than 40 bids that the township received for the property. AGI Holdings Inc. completed more renovations to the home, and it was listed for sale at the beginning of June for $304,900.

Blight can range from the physical deterioration of buildings and the environment to unsafe and unsightly conditions.

Shelby Township Treasurer Michael Flynn saw this project firsthand and gave the Board of Trustees a presentation about it at the board’s regular meeting June 18.

“We talked a lot about blight — we tore down the Big Boy not too long ago — but blight remediation kind of happens one property at a time. It’s a slow process. It’s a lot of work. But when we get something that came out really good, we like to kind of show the public and the board how we’re coming along. Now, 8112 St. John St. is a property that was incredibly blighted that we bought from the county on a tax foreclosure, and we’ve never done that before, but this was an opportunity we saw in a really nice neighborhood. You could really see the pride of ownership on that street to basically turn something around and bring it back to what we think Shelby Township should be,” Flynn said during the June 18 meeting.

The home was in revolting condition and in desperate need of help.

“In the interior of the home, there were 13 cats that were rescued from this home. The smell was so overwhelming it would knock you over if you didn’t have a respirator on when you walked in,” said Flynn.

Flynn said the bathroom was “so nasty we didn’t even go in it.” There was a makeshift toilet outside the home.

He said the men who lived there had substance abuse problems and scabies. He said the township was working to get them help.

“Our main motivation was to get (rid of) a blighted house. … I mean, you drive down that street in the summertime, you have well-manicured lawns, you have people that really care about their community — you can tell — and this was something that we’re happy we got done,” he said.

“I’m hoping we get a nice family moved in there, but this whole board’s been a part of this process and this program, so we are hopeful that this is one in a continuing series of projects that happen in the community to make it a little bit better every day,” he said.

Flynn said it wasn’t much about the money; it was about getting a blighted home rehabilitated.

“Purely for the township’s bottom line, we gained roughly $100,000 to contribute to the township’s trust to fund retiree health care obligations,” Flynn stated in a press release. “Part of the bid evaluation process by the board was to look at how the buyer intended to use the property and his plans for renovation.”

He said the main goal was to get a company that could do a good job fixing up the blighted property.

“Our top priority was to have a bidder that would do a top-notch rehab that was in line with the pride of ownership exhibited by the neighbors on that street,” Flynn stated in the release. “The board felt that the purchaser selected was most qualified to do the kind of rehab we felt that neighborhood demanded. Based on the before and after photos, it appears we made the right choice.”

Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis praised Flynn’s work on the project.

“My hat goes off to Treasurer Flynn on this one,” Stathakis stated in the press release. “He saw an opportunity when this property came on the market, and I cannot imagine it turning out any better. We’ve made great strides in our commercial reclamation efforts, but nothing means more to our residents than a project like this within the neighborhoods.”

The township has seen commercial remediation projects that became new shopping centers and businesses.

“Whether it is the old Big Boy restaurant that was demolished to make way for a new, fully occupied shopping center or the new Circle K gas station at 22 Mile Road and Van Dyke where the old Skopje deli was, Glenn Wynn in Planning and Zoning and Tim Wood in the Building Department have made an amazing impact,” Stathakis stated.

“I’m sure the neighbors are very appreciative, and again, great job,” Stathakis said during the June 18 meeting.

Blight is a priority issue for the board.

“We have heard our residents loud and clear that blight is an issue they want us to remedy,” Flynn stated in the press release. “The proof is places like the house at 8112 St. John St. and throughout our commercial districts that we are making significant progress.”

The Board of Trustees is asking residents to contact the township with any other areas that need attention by calling the township’s Ordinance Enforcement Department at (586) 726-7248 or emailing ordenf@shelbytwp.org.