Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 6, 2014

County looks for new strategy for Leland courthouse property

TRAVERSE CITY -- Leelanau County officials hope to hire a real estate agency to help market the county-owned, 119,563-square-foot former courthouse property in Leland.

The property has been a bit of an anchor around the county’s neck for years. Varley-Kelly Properties II LLC bought it from the county for $2.4 million in 2007 with plans for residential development. But they defaulted on their payments and the property reverted back to the county.

Now the land is appraised at about $1.5 million.

County commissioners will meet Monday at 1 p.m., after their executive session meeting, to hear pitches from real estate agents about how to market the property.

“We’re looking at what they think is the best marketing plan to sell the property,” said Tom Van Pelt, the chairman of Leelanau County’s Board of Commissioners. “We want to make sure it gets as much exposure as possible to the right type of people in order to finish up the sale.”

Van Pelt expects commissioners to make a decision on which real estate agency to go with on Monday.

Three agencies submitted bids for the job. Representatives from Three West, Re/Max Bayshore Properties, and Coldwell Banker Schmidt will all be in attendance. Van Pelt said commissioners are looking to see what the real estate agents recommend should happen with zoning on the property. Currently, it’s zoned for Planned Unit Development. During the executive committee meeting, commissioners also will discuss the senior services millage and whether to increase the height of a communications tower in Northport, where emergency and cell service can be spotty, Van Pelt said. The regular executive committee meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at the Government Center in Suttons Bay.

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