2012-08-02 / Front Page
Sale of city property on Miller Road halted
SWARTZ CREEK — The City of Swartz Creek is temporarily halted in its efforts to sell the city-owned property located at 7026 Miller Road, where the old Marathon station next to Burger King currently sits, to HCP, LLC, a Durand company.
In the process of closing on the purchase agreement for the property, a title search on the site revealed nine liens on the property, including a lien held by the Michigan banking institution Talmer Bank and Trust.
So, the City of Swartz Creek filed a complaint to quiet title in Genesee County Circuit Court on July 18 in an effort to extinguish the old liens and clear the title before it transfers the property to HCP, LLC.
Swartz Creek city manager Paul Bueche said the legal action will delay the sale, but he does not foresee any kind of negative outcome from the lawsuit that would stop the transfer of the property.
“I don’t anticipate any snags,” Bueche said.
Bueche added that he expects the legal action to conclude in mid to late August, where the city will then proceed with the closing and sale of the property to HCP, LLC with a clear title.
“We want a clear title,” he said.
According to the complaint filed by the city in circuit court, the City of Swartz Creek named seven defendants as holding liens on the property. The city contends the defendants’ interest in the property precedes the tax foreclosure on the site and therefore their interests are extinguished.
The complaint further states that prospective purchasers of the property or their title agents have expressed concerns about the validity of the defendants’ interests in the property, which necessitated the current legal action.
Bueche said the liens are all junk with the exception of the one held by Talmer Bank and Trust. He added that a lot of the lien holders are related to the original owner of the property and are now defunct companies.
“The bank is the target here,” Bueche said. “We want to push them to make a decision.”
Bueche said the bank had a chance to previously obtain the property during the tax foreclosure process, but did not pursue such a course of action probably due to environmental contamination issues on the property.
The City of Swartz Creek originally received the property back in December of 2010 after the property was foreclosed upon for unpaid taxes.
HCP, LLC plans to construct a new Biggby coffee shop on the site.
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