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Aaron

Wayne Co. to buy Guardian Building

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Wayne Co. to buy Guardian Building for $14.5 million

July 17, 2007

BY JOHN GALLAGHER

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano plans to announce Wednesday that the county is buying the landmark Guardian Building skyscraper in downtown Detroit for $14.5 million as a possible future home for county offices.

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Wow, to say this was unexpected and an understatement. The current owners, the Sterling Group, had did quite a bit to the tower and had planned even more (i.e. parking garage), so it's surprsing that a sale is being considered, to me.

But, where in the world is the county getting the money to make this (and other) large purchases?

It will also be interesting to see exactly what the county may be buying these for, as that still seems to be a question, or whether this is all just a big, big stunt to get Farbman to come down on their rent at the Old County Courthouse, which I'd hope Wayne County would remain in.

This all seems so weird, leaving more questions than answers.

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Does this mean the county may not build their own campus in the downtown area?

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Yeah, I don't like this too much either.

And the article said that he'd be announcing other things, totaling 30 million. So there's another 15 million worth of building somewhere that's also being bought.

It says executive offices are staying in the old building, so at least it probably won't be getting abandoned. And even though it seems like a lot of money, the money saved in the long term is worth it.

For 15 million, how big of a building could they build themselves, say, on the parking lot next to the CAY building?

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Actually, all that it says is that Fianco has not yet committed to moving the executive office out of the Wayne County Building, and that's really all he can say since he's in negotiations with the Farbman partnership that owns the building. From what I understand, the executive offices are about the only county offices left in the old courthouse. If Fianco is bluffing, it's one huge bluff.

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The Gaurdian Building was supposed to be a cathedral of finance, not just some boring government building. They should buy and spruce up the Wayne County Building if anything and get a major bank or accounting firm to buy the gaurdian.

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Hopefully, they preserve it well, but $15,000,000 only....ouch....that doesn't seem like much.

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Apparently, when the Sterling Group bought it back a few years ago they got it for half this price. It just goes to show how low land and property values are in downtown.

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