The iconic Fisher and Albert Kahn buildings in Detroit have sold for $12.2 million in an auction that ended Wednesday afternoon.
New York-based HFZ Capital Group won the auction for the 29-story Art Deco masterpiece and the nearby 10-story Albert Kahn Building. The company and a yet-to-be identified local investor plan to add residential to the top floor of the Fisher Building.
The buildings in New Center, which sold for $31 million in 2001 and were both designed by famed architect Albert Kahn, were part of a three-day package sale on auction.com.
The bidding started at $3.5 million.
The Fisher brothers, who made a fortune on the auto industry, commissioned Kahn to create an architectural masterpiece without making sacrifices for money, according to HistoricDetroit.org.
Kahn certainly cut no corners. The Fisher is covered in marble, brass and bronze and features hand-painted, barrel-vaulted ceilings, a theater and a golden tower. The enormous cost of maintaining the 87-year-old skyscraper was a major reason the Farbman Group lost the building. The company also struggled to keep tenants.
Among the potential bidders were billionaire Dan Gilbert and Packard Plant owner Fernando Palazuelo.
While Midtown and downtown have seen a residential revival, New Center has not. But developers and city officials believe New Center is the next area to benefit from new growth.
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.