LANSING, Mich. — A vacant building on Miller Road in Lansing was once the home of Binni's Bar and Grill. The establishment lost its liquor license in 2018 and the owner fell behind on property taxes, leading to foreclosure.
The property will go to the highest bidder in an auction Thursday.
The building is one of two former Lansing-area bars, and one of more than 75 foreclosed properties that will be up for sale at the Ingham County 2021 Tax Auction at the Lansing Center.
“You know, it's kind of raw capitalism, if you will," said Eric Schertzing, Ingham County treasurer. "We try to make sure people have a successful outcome because if they don't make money from the purchasing from the auction, they're not going to come back. We've built up a large auction list, a large number of people that are attracted to it every year.”
Schertzing said the foreclosure of the former Binni's bar was, in part, due to the former "biker bar" attracting a lot of police attention.
“I don't have anything against bikers, but there are some elements in there that are problematic," Schertzing said. "I know the Lansing Police Department, before it closed up in 2018, we're spending an awful lot of time here… This was a problem property. It needs to find new ownership, and a new future. The former owner just wasn't able to do that.”
Schertzing said a property like it — a 13,600-square-foot building on almost four and a half acres of land — could go for as much as $200,000, but the site of the other former bar, Gus's Bar on West Michigan Avenue, might only go for $40,000 or $50,000.
“There's just not as many people within a walking or biking distance there," Schertzing said. "It's a nice enough, you know, smaller space.”
The bars will be auctioned off alongside dozens of homes in Lansing and outlying communities. Schertzing said he has high hopes for Thursday's buyers.
“It needs to be somebody very hands-on very engaged in the day-to-day, that responds to the needs of the surrounding community, to make it a viable commercial enterprise," Schertzing said.
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