The 22-acre property is located behind the MJR Brighton Towne Square Digital Cinema 20 movie theater off Challis Road. The city owns the land, acquiring it in January of 2017 from the state in a tax foreclosure. As a result of a default judgment, the city holds title to the land.

The vacant parcel, which is zoned office research and light manufacturing, was recently assessed at $1,350,000 by the firm Frohm & Widmer of Farmington Hills. The bids were opened with a minimum bid of $1.2 million, but there were no takers. City officials say the nearly 300,000-square-foot Brighton Center for Specialty Care, which just opened nearby at Challis and Karl Greimel Drive, should increase the property’s marketability.

On the negative side, there are deed restrictions on the land, one of which says that before any land sale is executed, it must be approved both by the Murphy family, which owns the adjacent land at Brighton Towne Square, and Target, which has a chain store at Nemco Way and Movie Drive in that same development. WHMI asked City Manager Nate Geinzer if he was confident of receiving bids this time around. He replied that, with its proximity to the just-opened University of Michigan Health System medical facility, and with its vibrant downtown, the site is an attractive location for those seeking property to develop.

The U of M medical center has been the impetus for other recent developments in that part of Brighton, including three new hotels. If the city receives favorable bids, the matter will come back to council for possible action at one of the November meetings.(TT)