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Freemasonry Watch

Detroit Masonic Temple in foreclosure

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Detroit Masonic Temple in foreclosure


By: Nima Shaffe

(WXYZ) - It's a nationally registered historic landmark built in the 1920s.

It's a symbol of art, culture and grandeur.

And according to county tax documents; it's in foreclosure.

Wayne County says the owners of the Masonic Temple have forfeited their right to the Detroit building because of more than $150,000 in back taxes.

Under state law, counties can foreclose on properties when taxes are two years delinquent. Taxes due in 2010 have yet to be paid.

It was in 2010 that the Ilitch owned Olympia Entertainment stopped managing the temple.

Now the Wayne County Treasures holds it, but is not controlling it.

So far, the foreclosure hasn't meant event cancelations. There are concerts and comedy shows still being advertised on its website.

Wayne County Deputy Chief Treasurer David Szymanski tells 7 Action News shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday morning, Roger Sobran the President of the Masonic showed up with a check for $10,000.

Szymanski says it was more than 10% of the more than $75,000 the entertainment venue owes in taxes from 2010.

Sobran and the Masonic will have until June to pay the balance which is more than $36,000.

The foreclosure may not come as a total surprise; last August DTE threatened to shut off power to the building because of unpaid bills.

So what's next?

The Masonic Temple could be sold at auction in September if they don't pay the remainder of their balance owed by the end of the first week in June.

Szymanski says the Masonic entered into a payment arrangement and if they fulfill their obligation under the arrangement then he and his staff will ask a judge to reverse the foreclosure order.

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