2016-09-22 / Local News

‘Loaf townhouse owners worry about property values

Nearby condo owners are hoping pressure to fix up Sugar Loaf will soon pay off, but in the meantime they’re paying a price for each day the resort remains in disrepair.

Recent lowering of asking prices for townhouses at SugarLoaf bear that out.

“The condos are nice, we really keep them up,” said Bud Chard, a Grand Blanc resident who is a member of the Sugar Loaf Townshouse Owners Association. “But we’re really at the mercy of the people who control what goes on there. I assume it’s (Remo) Polselli, but you just don’t know.”

Chard owns two of eight condos in the “B” housing complex, located about 50 yards away from the former Sugar Loaf main building that once contained restaurants and a hotel. Vandalism continues at the building, which has tarps on roofs, broken windows and plywood covered openings.

Skiing at Sugar Loaf ended in 2000, and the main building has been shuttered since. Meanwhile, the community of nearby housing units that was built around a vacation theme has been left to survive on its own.

While housing prices in Leelanau County have been increasing for the past few years — and 2016 is setting home sales records in the county — real estate values near Sugar Loaf continue to suffer.

Chard said two townhouses have languished on the market in the B complex. The price for one was set at $147,000, dropped to $127,000, and was recently lowered to $124,900.

“There’s another one that hasn’t moved,” Chard continued. “It set for two years at $145,000.”

The units are priced far below the per-foot price for other housing units in the county. They are usually four bedrooms and contain about 1,700 square feet, Chard said.

“I know people have had to really drop their prices in all the condos in order to sell. There has been some awfully good sales there ... but people come out, and immediately look to their left, and what do they see? We try to explain to them that it’s a diamond in the rough,” Chard said.

He would like to eventually turn his units over to his two daughters, who have fond memories of Sugar Loaf. Chard said his family rented at the resort for 12 years before buying first one condo, then another when it appeared prices were good.

He’s been coming to Sugar Loaf for about 30 years.

“My goal is to give them to my daughters. It’s a place they really like. We’ve had wonderful times. The indoor pool, outdoor pool, sledding, skiing ... it was wonderful,” he said.

— by Alan Campbell

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