September 16, 2021

The Road Less Traveled


When a non-profit group asked Mark Szerlag and Jon Norton to list their youth camp facility for sale, the Thomas Duke Company agents saw the 24 rolling acres in affluent Rochester Hills as an excellent site for a new development.

Planners before them had shared that vision. On paper, the site was master planned for a high-density residential subdivision. But the city planning department soon found themselves between the rock of that master plan and the hard place of the property’s neighbors. Fronted by a little-traveled gravel road, the land is surrounded by a few rural estates whose owners made their voice clear: No new development that would change the serenity of the neighborhood.

Buyer after buyer presented proposals for new developments. The city rejected each one. The sale seemed stuck.

Rather than becoming embroiled in the conflict, Mark and Jon took the high road. They worked closely with city planners to explore any peaceable way forward.

And then, the way opened. A new buyer appeared—the owner of a landscaping company wanting to plant a tree farm. Both the city and the neighbors perked up, optimistic. Sensing the opportunity, Mark, Jon, and the buyer’s agent negotiated a purchase contract congenial to everyone. 930 Mead Road is now home to R. Youngblood & Co. Landscapes.

Open cooperation with local government helped bring all parties in this transaction past the impasse. Contact a Thomas Duke Company broker to get your land sold no matter what it’s up against.

Recent Successes