Detroit’s historic Masonic Temple and Wayne County have reached an agreement to stop foreclosure proceedings, its president said Thursday. Roger Sobran said the Temple paid $10,000 toward a tax bill Thursday and is expected to pay another $36,000 by early June. More than $150,000 in unpaid taxes from 2010 and 2012 left the 14-story building in the hands of the Wayne County treasurer’s office.
But Sobran and chief deputy county treasurer David Szymanski said a payment plan had been worked out. “Whether it’s the Masonic or somebody’s home, we’re rally happy to see taxpayers come in, make their tax payment,” Symanski told WWJ’s Chrystal Knight. “It helps fund essential government services and it helps them avoid foreclosure. It stabilizes our neighborhoods.” The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, takes up an entire block and has more than 1,000 rooms. It houses the Masonic Theater, a concert site that for decades hosted some of the biggest acts in music, including The Who and the Rolling Stones. “We’re rebounding. Business is good this year. We have a lot of events,” said Sobran, who added the Temple has earned $1.2 million in gross revenue so far this calendar year. A default had been triggered by the unpaid taxes. Under state law, owners have time to catch up, but if they don’t, a court may order a foreclosure.
Located north of downtown, the Masonic Temple is home to several masonic organizations. Construction on the building began in 1920, and the temple was dedicated in 1926. It has ballrooms, dining rooms, a barber shop and even bowling lanes inside. “We’ve been here for 90 years, and we’re going to be here,” Sobran said. Symanski said 40,000 properties in that same 500-block of Temple are facing foreclosure, but he’s made payment arrangements with 15,000 of them.
(source: CBS Detroit, http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/04/25/detroits-masonic-temple-in-foreclosure-over-taxes/)