October 13, 2013

Rising to the Challenge Gives Westland 146 New Homesites

It’s not often that a real estate transaction has the twists, turns, and suspense of a made-for-TV miniseries. But when that challenge presents itself, the Thomas A. Duke Company can direct it to a happy ending.


clyde smithAfter 172 years of ownership, the Smith family sold their Clyde Smith Nursery on Newburgh Road in Westland, Michigan, to a developer. That was in 2006, when the economy in general and the housing market in particular went into a tailspin. It wasn’t long before the property had reverted to the Smiths—with the bank and a pack of attorneys hot on their heels.

Anxious and feeling the heat, the family called Steve Valli at the Thomas A. Duke Company. Despite the odds, Steve saw opportunities: The 35-acre parcel was site plan approved for 146 homes, and it was in the well-run Livonia Public Schools system.

In the search for a buyer and a satisfactory deal, drama ensued, involving just about every obstacle in real estate—legal and title issues, lenders and liens, payoff, private equity, deadlines, redemption periods, and city hall, to name most, but not all the challenges.

Finally, with just three days left on the redemption period, Steve sold the property to a local investor, who teamed up with well-known residential developer Home Renewal Realty of Farmington Hills. Soon they’ll break ground for Clyde Smith Farms Village, with its 146 home sites.

“This is a good shot in the arm for Westland and Livonia Public Schools,” said Westland mayor William Wild. “It bodes well for our economy.”

Turning obstacles into opportunities for economies and communities—that’s the specialty of Steve Valli at the Thomas A. Duke Company. Call him today with your real estate challenge.

For more information, please contact Steve Valli at svalli@thomasduke.com.

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