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Wednesday October 26, 2016
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A Tale of Two Condos



Inside was an impressive scale model of the complex--eighty-eight units in nine buildings--that developer Mike Concannon planned to build on the corner. Potenial buyers were greeted by his wife, Barbara, who passionately described the units' dramatic architectural details, with high ceilings and huge windows, like you'd find in New York City.

Fast forward to October 2008. The bursting real estate bubble and financial crisis sent home buyers running for cover. The closing of Pfizer dumped 1,500 homes on the market as staffers left the city. With prices plunging, builders with unsold homes couldn't even recoup their costs.

"I've been in this business for thirty years, and I've never started a project I haven't finished--until now, when five of them are stalled," Concannon told the Community Observer in 2010. All those properties eventually went into foreclosure. In 2012, Concannon filed for personal bankruptcy, and forty-seven creditors--from Kitchen Suppliers of Detroit to Waldorf Floors in Farmington Hills--got in line hoping to collect debts totaling $5 million.

Concannon's debts were discharged last year--but with the properties gone, the creditors got nothing. Norfolk Homes bought West Towne from Fifth Third Bank and turned it into a rental complex called Blue Heron Pond.

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