In Offers to buy ‘Loaf’ revealed, Eric Carlson of the Leelanau Enterprise brings us up to date on the state of Sugar Loaf in a well-researched article. He says that numerous offers to buy Sugar Loaf Resort from the “unnamed guarantors” of the mortgage have been made … and rejected.
Real estate agent Allen Reed is quoted as saying that Kate Wickstrom appears to be out of the picture and also that the buildings are now viewed as more of a liability than an asset. Real estate agent and County Commissioner David “Chauncey” Shiflett of Leland agrees with Reed’s assessment. Shiflett helped establish the county’s new Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and new Land Bank Fast Track Authority.
Clearly a “blighted or obsolete” property, Sugar Loaf Resort may present an opportunity for a developer interested in benefiting from special tax incentives as well as government loans and grants available for cleanup and redevelopment through the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.
In addition, the county’s newly-formed Land Bank Fast Track Authority has the legal ability to “quiet title” on certain properties where ownership is contested, unclear or potentially subject to forfeiture due to unpaid property taxes – circumstances which might describe Sugar LoafResort. Action by the two county authorities could attract a private developer willing to take on project to redevelop Sugar Loaf Resort.
“I have no idea whether the newly seated Leelanau County Board of Commissioners will support the idea of doing something to improve the situation there,” Shiflett said. “But I know that trying to do so is something that I will be focusing on. I know that many of our constituents support the idea of the county taking some action to help revive Sugar Loaf.”
Chauncey is quoted at the end of the article saying that:
“In some economies, it might not make sense for a county government to get too deeply involved in something like this, but we’re not in a normal economy right now – and now may be the right time for the county to help spearhead an effort to revive Sugar Loaf.”
Over the holidays, I looked around at the downtowns, and while I saw some activity, to me it looked like every winter weekend back in the day when Sugar Loaf was a going concern. I’m wondering what you think about whether or not the county government should get involved.