- Associated Press - Saturday, June 20, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - About 200 potential bidders have perused two historic Detroit buildings set for auction after the previous owner defaulted on the mortgage.

Local, national and international investors are among those who have checked out the Fisher and Albert Kahn buildings. A three-day online auction starts Monday, The Detroit News reported (http://bit.ly/1K2KSck ) Saturday.

The opportunity to buy the New Center area buildings comes after FK Acquisition LLC defaulted on a $27 million mortgage two years ago.

The starting bid for the Art Deco gems, built in the late 1920s and early 1930s, is $3.5 million. The package deal includes parking garages and surface lots.

The 30-story Fisher Building was built in 1928. It includes the Fisher Theatre and is home to WJR-AM. The 8-story Kahn nearby is named after the architect and firm he established, Albert Kahn Associates, which remains a key tenant.

Rich Deptula is a senior vice president at Friedman Investment Group, which has been managing the tours. He said the winning bidder gets “a treasure.”

Analysts say the downtown building-buying frenzy led by businessman Dan Gilbert has yet to take root in New Center, but the construction of a light-rail line and growth in neighboring Midtown are thought to be promising signs. Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services last month bought two parking decks near the Kahn Building and Cadillac Place, the former General Motors headquarters across the street from the Fisher that’s now a Detroit hub for state offices.

“Let’s hope that auction is a big spark” for New Center, said John LaTessa, a senior managing director at commercial real estate firm CBRE. “It still has challenges.”

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Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

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