Detroit removes 16 Brush Park properties from county auction

These empty lots on Edmund Place in Brush Park were up for auction.
These empty lots on Edmund Place in Brush Park were up for auction.

A good chunk of Detroit’s historic Brush Park was up for auction this month, raising concerns that speculators may gobble up the land and keep it vacant for years.

But on Tuesday, one week before bidding was set to end, the city quietly removed the properties from the Wayne County tax-foreclosure auction in a move that some preservationist say would keep the land out of the hands of investors who have no interest in developing and maintaining the property.

312 Watson
312 Watson, removed from auction

Brush Park is a unique neighborhood that continues to lose grand, century-old homes. The architecture is among the most impressive in Detroit, ranging from Venetian Gothic to French Renaissance Revival.

Most of the property up for auction is vacant land owned by Central Brush Park LLC, which spent several million dollars on the grassy lots in 2006, just as the housing bubble was about to burst. The company owed more than $150,000 in delinquent taxes, according to Wayne County.

One house that was up for auction was an abandoned speakeasy-turned-cancer center at 312 Watson that also was the setting for a drug house on the AMC show, “Low Winter Sun.”

Other auction coverage:

Photos: Beautiful homes hit auction block in Detroit

Photos: You won’t believe the Detroit properties up for bid

For more information on the auction and the individual properties up for bid, check out our friends at

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.