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Sunday, 15 December 2013 20:08

Former owners to get second chance with Waters Building after foreclosure

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The Waters Building The Waters Building PHOTO: Steven DePolo

A year after losing the Waters Building to foreclosure, the formers owners of the landmark property in downtown Grand Rapids are one step closer to buying it back.

With the help of undisclosed local partner, Ann Arbor-based Three Oaks Group LLC is currently under contract and working through due diligence to repurchase the building out of receivership, company co-founder and Principal William Godfrey confirmed to MiBiz.

“We’re very excited about it. That’s all I can say at this point,” Godfrey said.

Sources MiBiz spoke with, including others who were vying for the property, said the building is being sold for approximately $13.3 million — or about half what Three Oaks originally paid for the property in 2006. A person familiar with the transaction said Three Oaks and its partner have a tentative redevelopment plan that includes the addition of market-rate apartments.

Godfrey wouldn’t confirm these details, but said more information would come next month.

Developers and other real estate professionals MiBiz spoke with said that the building poses pretty significant financial and structural redevelopment challenges because of its age and floor plan.

In January, Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Friedman Real Estate Solution Inc. was awarded the management contract for the 280,000-square-foot building at 161 Ottawa Avenue NW.

The building went into foreclosure last September.

Three Oaks paid approximately $27 million for the historic six-story property in 2006. At the time, the building was reportedly 90 percent leased.

In 2012, the building was appraised for $12 million, and the company stepped away from the property, Godfrey told MiBiz in a previous report.

He said at the time that the company felt the weight of the collapse of the financial markets and the ensuing recession, during which property values took a huge hit across the board. In late 2012, Three Oaks decided it wasn’t worth it to reinvest any more money into the building, Godfrey said in January.

A New York-based bond holding company currently owns the mortgage.

The building is home to Grand Rapids Area Chamber of CommerceThe Right Place Inc. and other professional offices.

Read 3380 times Last modified on Sunday, 15 December 2013 20:25

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