More than a year and a half after one of Rochester's most beloved restaurants closed its massive doors, the prime downtown property has unexpectedly sold for $5.5 million.
The buildings which housed Michaels restaurant at the corner of South Broadway and Center Street for 64 years were purchased by Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors of Illinois on Friday. The sale included four properties — 11, 13, 15 and 17 Broadway.
Olmsted County estimated the total market value of the properties at $1.17 million, which means it sold for almost five times its estimated value.
Harbor Bay bought the buildings from 15 South Broadway LLC, which is described as a joint venture owned 50-50 by the Chafoulias and the Pappas families. That group bought the property on Jan. 6, 2015, from the Pappas family for $1.4 million, almost a fourth of what it sold for last week.
The high profile 2015 sale and emotional closure of Michaels was described as clearing the way for redeveloping the land and then connecting the new building to Gus Chafoulias' proposed Broadway at Center tower via a skyway across Broadway. Michael Pappas described the plan in late 2014 as involving closing the restaurant, demolishing the buildings and developing a new retail center that would connect with both the Shops at University Square and the planned Broadway at Center project, both Chafoulias properties.
Why change the plan and sell the buildings to an outside developer?
"There are many family members on each side and they felt it was a very fair price and preferred selling to developing the site," wrote Sheila Thoma, spokeswoman for the Chafoulias family's Titan Development and Investments company.
No member of the Pappas family was available for comment on the deal.
Thoma added that Gus Chafoulias still plans to connect whatever is built on the Michaels site to his long-delayed $145 million Broadway at Center on the southeast corner of Broadway Avenue and Center Street. Broadway at Center is the first high-profile project approved by the Destination Medical Center Corp. in 2015 to count toward Rochester's DMC commitment to the state.
"We have an agreement with the group that purchased and they want a skyway as well," she wrote.
Mark Bell and Tom Lund, the partners who run Harbor Bay, were not available for comment on Tuesday, so it is not known what their plans are for the Michaels property. However, the duo already have a housing development under construction in Rochester.
Harbor Bay is the company behind the 211-unit Preserve on Maine apartment complex at 4010 Maine Ave. SE. The developer describes Preserve on Main as "a place where luxurious residences and resort style living meet." Rents for the 17 styles of apartment range from $975 to $1,995 a month.
Chafoulias' Broadway at Center project has been stalled for months awaiting a financing deal to be finalized before starting demolition and construction. In July, Chafoulias announced that his team was terminating its relationship with Saudi Prince Turki Bin Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and Anas Abukhadra, of Minneapolis, because they had failed "to fulfill (their financial) obligations."
The project is still awaiting financing to clear the way for a needed $105 million loan to help finance the 23-story complex.
Could this latest deal with Harbor Bay be connected to financing Broadway at Center? Thoma says definitely not. She wrote that the Michaels sale has nothing to do with Broadway at Center other than the proposed skyway link.