Principal Associates recently closed the sale of the 26,700-square-foot Hecker-Smiley Mansion to Wayne State University in Detroit. The property will be used as an alumni relations center. The purchase price was $2.3 million.
Principal Associates was hired by the personal injury law firm of Charfoos & Christensen, P.C. to sell the property just more than 10 months ago. The property had previously been on the market for the past four years with two other brokerage firms.
Robert Rosman, Levi Smith, John DeWald and Matt Schiffman of Principal Associates represented the owners.
To help sell this unique property, Principal Associates created a one-of-a-kind for-sale sign, one that was shaped to represent the mansion’s series of peaks and turrets and had the words “for sale” written in four languages, a call-out to the diversity of Midtown’s Cultural District.
A news story appeared online, one that caught the attention of potential buyers from China, England and Austrial who were in town for the Detroit Auto Show. The mansion’s story then went viral, including stories run by the Huffington Post and Daily Mail of London.
The residence, originally built in 1892 by Col. Frank Hecker, who made a fortune in manufacturing box cars, will soon be served by the Ferry Street stop on the M-I light rail.
The 49-room property, currently operating as a law office, was completely renovated by the owners under the direction of partner Douglas Peters in 1992 using a set of 150 photography plates from 1892. The property also includes a 5,700 sq. ft. carriage house.