Yacht club to be appraised

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 12, 2012

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — The end of the year is coming with some changes in assessing in the city.

As City Manager Mark Wollenweber explained to the City Council during a Nov. 20 meeting, the Shores is planning on engaging Wayne County for future assessing — something that’s expected to be on the agenda for the council’s Dec. 18 meeting. He said the city’s current assessor, Tim O’Donnell, would be assisting during the transition as the county takes over.

But in response to a question from resident Gloria Anton, City Council member Bruce Bisballe said this was “not an end run” around the law to raise property values and, in turn, taxes. He said homes can be reappraised if there’s a change to the structure, such as an addition, but the Shores is constrained by state law and the Headlee Amendment and can’t just go out and reappraise all of the city’s properties because they hired a new appraiser.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be any new appraisals, however. The council did unanimously approve a bid to have St. Joseph-based Robert W. Bogner and Associates Inc. perform an appraisal of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. This needed to be done before Dec. 31, which is tax day, Wollenweber said. Mayor Ted Kedzierski said the purpose of hiring Bogner was to look at higher-end commercial properties in the city. Excluding city offices, the Shores only has two non-residential properties within its borders: the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House and the GPYC. At press time, the city was only contracting with Bogner for the yacht club.

“He’s been engaged for one property,” Bisballe said of Bogner.

City Attorney Brian Renaud said he talked to other appraisers and members of his law firm for recommendations on appraisers who had experience evaluating clubs and similar properties.

“He came highly recommended,” Renaud said of Bogner, although he noted that one of the other finalists was also “very bright (and) creative.”

“I think it came down to cost,” the attorney told the council of the administration’s recommendation.

Wollenweber said the GPYC appraisal “won’t exceed $9,400.” A second bid was around $15,000, he said.

Bogner has evaluated more than 200 marinas, including, in recent months, Jefferson Beach Marina in St. Clair Shores and MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township.