2012-04-19 / Front Page

Historic S-B building up for auction

By Eric Carlson
Of The Enterprise staff

The building formerly housing the popular Silvertree Deli in downtown Suttons Bay will be sold at auction on Friday, May 18.

The property has been for sale since the Silvertree closed in December 2010. The auction has been ordered by a mortgage lender. The owner, according to county records, is BDR Holdings.

Local businessman Bruce Vaughn purchased the historic 12,635 squarefoot building in 2002 for $800,000. Located at the corner of St. Joseph Avenue (M-22) and Madison Avenue in downtown Suttons Bay, the building has occupied a prominent place in the village’s history since 1903.

The building was offered for sale last year at $575,000 — but no buyers emerged. It’s considered a landmark in the village, at one time even hosting basketball games on its expansive second floor.

A Minnesota-based real estate auctioneer, Tyler Maas, said both the building and the business will be sold onsite at a lender-ordered auction May 18 at 11 a.m. The sale includes a liquor license allowing sales for offsite consumption seven days a week, as well as deli equipment, coolers, wine racks, tables and chairs.

Potential buyers may inspect the property by appointment on Wednesday, May 2 from 1 to 4 p.m., and May 17, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Several years ago, the Leelanau County Planning and Community Development Department took an interest in the building and planned to facilitate construction of “workforce housing” apartments on the second story of the building. Using state and federal grant funding through its Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the county also conducted environmental assessments of the property, reports of which are available on the county’s website.

The affordable housing project never got off the ground, however, because additional grant funding was not available. County officials said they had hoped that the addition of housing in the building would allow Vaughn to stay in business — and provide low-cost housing to some of the 24 people his business employed at its peak.

Anyone seeking more information about the auction may visit maascompanies.com online or phone (507) 285-1444.

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