Former Detroit casino mogul behind winning bid for 6,350 lots

Herb Strather — a Detroit developer who made a fortune spearheading the drive to legalize casinos in the Motor City — is the leader of a group of  investors who have won the right to buy 6,350 foreclosed homes and vacant lots for $3.13 million.

About 2,000 of the properties are vacant lots, 3,000 are homes that will probably have to be demolished, and 1,000 are considered salvageable homes, the Detroit News reports.

In a recent Michigan Chronicle profile, Strather said that after the investment group he chaired, Motor City Casino, sold its interest to Marian Ilitch for $110 million in 2005, he went on a buying and building spree and lost millions in the market crash. Strather had $60 million in bank loans in 2008 “and several projects under development, which all took a serious hit along with his net worth.”

“I have been to this movie before and made millions,” Strather told the Chronicle of the money he made in Detroit during the 1980 recession. “This time around I am going to carry a few entrepreneurs with me. My goal is to create the next generation of urban developers that will see to it that Detroit communities are reinvented and Detroit’s reputation is restored.”

Strather’s Echo Solutions has 14 days to pay up for its winning bid, and risks losing any dangerous properties it hasn’t demolished or submitted redevelopment plans for within six months. Source: detroitnews.com.