When downtown Kalamazoo officials announced PlazaCorp Realty Advisors Inc.’s plans to purchase–and perhaps reinvest–in the land and buildings along the west side of the 200 block of Rose Street, there may have been some trepidation among some of the current tenants.  That’s mainly because there was no word of what PlazaCorp intended to do with the property once it had purchased it.

But according to recent reports, there might not be anything to fear if PlazaCorp decides to take over as landlord to the businesses that are currently leasing space in the office buildings along Rose Street.

The property purchase was supposed to close recently, transferring ownership of the buildings and land from the ownership of First States, a California-based real estate investment firm that currently holds the deeds, to PlazaCorp. But according to one attorney close to the deal, the deeds needed to be taken out of escrow before the properties could be sold.

Escrow, in real estate terms can prolong purchasing agreements because of how they function. Real estate escrow usually puts a deed in the custody of a neutral third party until certain conditions are met. The significance of this is to ensure that no funds or property will be exchanged to either party in a real estate transaction until all of the conditions are met. An absence of such measures could create problems that may need to be sorted out with the help of skilled real estate attorneys.

It’s unclear whether this is the case in this particular situation, Chris Shook, chairman for Kalamazoo’s Downtown Development Authority, presided over a special meeting recently to settle any deed issues that may have arisen during the course of the deal and is confident that when everything is all said and done, this will bring much-needed development to the downtown area.

Sources: Mlive.com, “Deed action clears way for property sale along Rose Street in downtown Kalamazoo,” Al Jones, July 18, 2013

The San Francisco Gate, “Real Estate Escrow Definition,” Angela Lam Turpin

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