Bay County Land Bank Sells Historic Home

The Bay County Land Bank Authority has transferred ownership of 615 N. Grant St. to Wayne and Cadia Hofmann following satisfaction of a development agreement.

The Italianate-style house was constructed in 1872 and purchased in 1889 by Newell Eddy.

Eddy, a prominent businessman and avid ornithologist, added a 34-foot-by-21-foot room with elaborate woodwork trim and fireplace to display his large collection of birds.

The house has been the subject of concern by those interested in preserving the historic significance of the home for over two decades, having been converted into a 5-unit apartment mid-century and standing vacant for more than a decade.

Despite efforts to preserve the home and return it to a single family dwelling, the property was foreclosed for past due taxes on March 31, 2017. The property was subsequently transferred to the Bay County Land Bank Authority.

Transferring the home title to the Hofmann’s (Photo provided by the Bay County Land Bank)

In addition to its historical significance, this home was one of several tax foreclosures in the neighborhood.

Two blighted properties on this block have been demolished to allow for the revitalization of the neighborhood.

The Bay County Land Bank Authority reviewed bids submitted on March 19, 2020 and awarded the bid to the Hofmann family.

An important component of the Hofmann’s proposal was to establish a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone.

A Neighborhood Enterprise Zone encourages redevelopment of residential housing, owner-occupation and new investment by lowering taxes temporarily if certain investment criteria are met.

On the Enterprise Zone, Bay City Manager Dana Muscott said “The City has had a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone policy in place since 2006. City staff has worked hard the past few years to update the policy to include not only new construction, but rehabilitation. Because of these recent changes, the Hoffman family was the first to apply, be eligible for, and utilize the policy for rehabilitation purposes,”

An investment of over $400,000 was made by the Hofmann’s to restore the home to single family occupancy.

The Land Bank Authority does not currently have any other homes in its inventory for redevelopment but continues to be ready to assist when opportunities present themselves.