For Banditos, a Construction Hiatus
"Banditos will be operational as soon as the city deems it safe to reopen for business and all permits have been approved," promises Joe Barbat of Barbat Holdings. After a long delay, Barbat recently resumed work on a massive reconstruction of its S. Fourth Ave. building, and Banditos closed right at the time some building issues with the city arose. By the time those had been resolved, Barbat says, the steel contractor had taken on a new job; the search for a new one took five or six weeks.
Built in 1928, the building between Washington and Liberty originally housed Montgomery Ward (then known as a "farm store"). Mid-century saw several fires, and installation of a "modern" metal facade. It was converted into a (very) mini-mall called Town Center Plaza, but longtime owner Dale Newman had numerous conflicts with the city and his lenders, and finally lost the building to foreclosure.
In 2013, Detroit-area developer Barbat purchased the property from the bank and got the city to approve his plan to add four stories of condos. After a series of fits and starts, the old building's second floor was demolished earlier this year, making way for the new steel structure that will house the condos.
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