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Benz Acquires Hoover Estate

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Benz Acquires Hoover Estate

Washtenaw Property Sells For $26,800

Vacant for the last 14 years, the old Hoover estate mansion and property at 2107 Washtenaw Ave has been purchased from the state by Carroll A. Benz, Ann Arbor real estate broker, and his wife, Grace Vincent Benz, for approximately $26,800.

Mr. who became officially the high bidder for the property when the state land office board’s auction closed at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon, will receive the contract tomorrow. The property had reverted to the state for delinquent back taxes.

Mr. Benz said he planned to rehabilitate the house and property and then—before deciding on its ultimate use—to confer with neighboring residents and city officials on their ideas as to its use.

Damages Are Great

Estimating the cost of restoring the house at between $20,000 and $25,000, Mr. Benz said that during its vacancy it has been extensively damaged by vandalism. Light and plumbing fixtures, door handles and stair railings have been removed, mirrors broken and other damage done to the house, he said.

Mr. Benz also plans to have a new road constructed and the yard cleared up. He said the work would be started immediately, and probably would take 90 days to be completed.

Built in 1918 by the late Leander J. Hoover, Ann Arbor manufacturer, at a reported cost of $250,000, plus $100,000 for furnishings, 'the mansion was for years considered a show place. After his death, his widow moved to Cleveland and the place was acquired in 1923 by Kappa Sigma fraternity.

The fraternity moved to 806 Hill St. in 1932 and the property has since been vacant. In 1935 the state planned to purchase it from the fraternity’s bondholders committee as a home for the Michigan Children’s Institute, but cancelled the plan as a result of protests by neighbors and question as to Whether it could be used for that purpose under restrictions of the zoning ordinance and the original sale contracts.