Arrested development

HOUGHTON – The City of Houghton is looking for a developer for the former Backroom Multientertainment Building in the month before it would revert to the bank.

The building has been in the city’s possession since late May, when former owner Michael Jestila was sentenced to a year in jail for providing marijuana to minors. Jestila turned the building over as part of a plea agreement that also barred him from doing business in Houghton County.

MacInnes said the city would prefer retail on the first floor and a mix of office and apartments on the other two floors. He has shown the building a number of times since late May, MacInnes said.

“We’re looking for somebody that would want to purchase and develop the building, or somebody who’s interested in leasing … ,” he said.

All three floors are 4,500 square feet, MacInnes said, and the roof and furnace are five years old.

Jestila is subject to a mortgage lien and a state lien on the building. Superior National Bank will take over the building if the city cannot find a buyer in the next 30 days.

MacInnes said it would be about six months before the bank would be able to sell it.

“I believe they have a holding period they have to adhere to,” he said.