All Real Estate Eyes on Metro Detroit Properties


With the sale of the former Detroit Free Press and David Stott buildings, and the Elmore Leonard property going on the market, interest is high this week in metro Detroit real estate.

The Stott building, at the corner of Griswold and State streets, sold on Thursday for $8.95 million after a bidding war erupted in the final moments of the sale. The bid exceeded the seller’s undisclosed reserve price.

“It’s a fantastic sale,” says Barry Swatsenbarg, national director of investment sales for the Friedman Real Estate Group in Farmington Hills. “This just confirms the demand and opportunity are there for Detroit real estate.

Also downtown, the 14-story former Free Press building, designed by Albert Kahn, sold on the online real estate auction site Wednesday for about $4 million.

Meanwhile, several would-be buyers for the Bloomfield Village home of recently deceased writer Elmore “Dutch” Leonard have made second visits, says Madelon Ward, associate broker at Hunter & Hall Realtors in Birmingham. Ward says an open house for other real estate brokers is scheduled for next week.

The $2.4-million Leonard estate sits on 1.3 acres, and includes a pool, a tennis court, and a three-car garage. The 1940, 5,000-square-foot home features Pewabic tile in the bathrooms, four fireplaces, and a two-story foyer. The novelist and screenwriter died Aug. 20.

In related news, a Chicago developer says he is close to buying the 40-acre Packard plant on Detroit’s east side from Wayne County. The investor, William Hults, will pay roughly $1 million for the former automotive complex, which dates to 1911. He plans to convert the facility into a commercial and residential project.