Builder out of ‘pink hotel’ project

Builder out of ‘pink hotel’ project

Brighton builder Stan Schafer is out of the picture when it comes to redeveloping the historical “pink hotel” property.Someone else has apparently offered more money for the historic building at First and Main streets in Brighton, and owner John Harris, a Brighton attorney, is moving ahead with that deal. It’s not known who made the offer, and Harris declined to comment.

“It’s off the board,” Schafer said. “Someone else came on in and made an offer on it, and he (Harris) accepted their offer.”

Schafer had a purchase agreement for the site and had been extending his agreements with Harris. His last agreement expired last month.

For eight months, Schafer has been moving ahead with a proposal to raze the site and put up an impressive-looking four-story structure with retail shops, offices and upscale condos. Earlier this year, the city approved amending its existing height rule to allow for buildings up to 50 feet tall — with a special permit — which paved the way for Schafer’s project.

Schafer said he was a “little disappointed” with this situation.

Schafer said he would have renewed his agreement with Harris, but he had to pay more money, which he decided not to do. The building was originally listed for $640,000.

“We planned on keeping it going,” Schafer said. “Sometimes, things just don’t work out.”

He said maybe the property might become available again.

The three-story brick building, which gained the nickname as the “pink hotel” because it was once covered with pink siding, was built around 1871 and originally bustled with guests from the railroad stop.

Marieanna Bair, president of the Brighton Area Historical Society, said the “pink hotel” is one of four sites in downtown Brighton on the Michigan Register of Historic Sites — the others being the Old Town Hall, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the church’s cemetery.

Another person interested in the property was Genoa Township resident Brian Jones. Although Jones put in a bid to purchase the building last year, it came too late. Schafer had already put in an option to buy that was accepted.

Jones, a 1985 Brighton High School graduate, is vice president of a New Hudson engineering services company.

Jones stated in a January interview that he was second in line, and he wants to preserve the building.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity if it’s presented,” Jones said. “My vision is to preserve the historic character of the town and city, if it’s at all possible.”

Jones could not be reached for comment for this story by press time.

A special public hearing on the project is scheduled for Aug. 20, but there’s a chance it could be canceled.

Matt Modrack, Brighton community development/planning director, said he’s aware of a change in the building’s ownership, and he’s asked Schafer to submit a letter formally withdrawing from the project, if that is the case. Modrack said he would need something in writing to cancel the scheduled public hearing.

Scott Griffith, co-owner of ERA Griffith Realty, said the new offer was not anticipated. Griffith, the real estate agent for the “pink hotel,” said Harris is handling the new offer and did not have any further details.

However, Griffith said things can change if a deal is not closed.

“The longer it takes a deal to close, the less likely it will close,” Griffith said.

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