St. Clair Shores house purchased by city, remodeled, recently sold

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published October 10, 2017

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — A home first acquired by the city in 2015 for $6,600 was approved for sale by City Council Oct. 2. 

Community Development and Inspection Director Chris Rayes said that, all told — with holding costs, acquisition and improvements to the house — the city ended up spending $98,000 on the house in the 20000 block of Maple while it was in its possession from 2015 to 2017. The city made $42,000 on the sale of the house, which was approved for sale for $150,000.

Rayes told City Council members that the house was the second built on the block. The city hired one contractor to work on the house, but ended up having to fire that contractor and bid out each individual portion of the remaining work itself. 

Overall, Rayes said that one bedroom had no closet, so a portion of the kitchen was used to create one. Then the eating area was joined with the kitchen to make a larger room. The utility room was divided in half, with a portion becoming the dining area and a portion becoming the laundry room and furnace area. 

“We ended up gutting the bathroom and redoing it,” he said, adding that they repainted the house and replaced flooring and light fixtures. 

“It is a significant improvement to the area. It’s a lot of money to put into it, but we also made a lot of money on it, and I think it’s a good investment,” he said.

Council members agreed.

“This was a tough house to remodel, with the different levels in there and the new siding. You did a beautiful job,” said Councilman Peter Accica. “It really turned out nice. You really turned it around.”

Councilwoman Candice Rusie recused herself from the vote because she said she didn’t feel comfortable voting on a contract that she didn’t see until the day of the meeting.

In making the motion to approve the sale of the house, Councilman Chris Vitale said he believed that late Councilman Tony Tiseo first worked with him and Rayes on a plan for the house, and he was happy to see the vision of the Tax Foreclosure Committee come to life.

“You can just see with a minimal amount of investment what a big difference that made to the street,” Vitale said. 

Council voted 6-1 to approve the sale of the home for $150,000, with Rusie recusing herself from the vote.

“For the amount of money spent on the outside, it’s pretty incredible the difference,” agreed Councilman Peter Rubino. “It’s going to benefit the whole neighborhood, so good job on this.”