Hancock could purchase former Finlandia buildings

HANCOCK — The Hancock City Council will hold a special hearing next month on the proposed purchase of three Finlandia University properties that were in the process of being abandoned.

Wednesday night, the council scheduled a hearing for its Oct. 18 meeting on a purchase agreement for Wargelin, Nikander and Mannerheim halls.

By taking it out of the foreclosure process, it will speed up the process of finding a permanent owner, said City Manager Mary Babcock.

By purchasing the buildings, the city could ensure they don’t become blighted before a permanent owner can be lined up, Babcock said.

O’Keefe & Associates announced it was planning to abandon six Finlandia Finlandia properties which hadn’t garnered offers high enough to pay off the university’s debts and other obligations.

O’Keefe plans to auction two of those buildings, Babcock said — the Jutila Center and Old Main.

O’Keefe, which had filed to abandon the properties, has agreed to delay the abandonment, Babcock said.O’Keefe’s next court hearing regarding Finlandia will be in Ingham County Circuit Court Oct. 18.

Babcock said the city might make similar agreements for the other Finlandia properties slated for abandonment if buyers can’t be found.

“I think there would be a possibility, just for ease of change,” she said. “We don’t want them left in Finlandia’s name. That’s the biggest thing, is it’s kind of like leaving it in nobody’s name. So I think there would be some consideration, especially if there’s a potential buyer to make that transition or easier.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today