LOVELAND Technologies is on the verge of enjoying a bump in its WhyDontWeOwnThis.com website thanks to an unexpected auction of tax foreclosed properties from Wayne County this month.
an eclectic software start-up based in Corktown that has made a name for itself with big name projects, such as the Imagination Station and the Robocop statue. It made an even bigger name for itself in local tech circles by putting the morass of information from last fall's Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction (13,000 properties mostly in Detroit) easily digestible thanks to an online mapping system on WhyDontWeOwnThis.com
. Each property entry provides vital information, such as property ID number, opening bid, condition of the property and a Google Street View of the building.
WhyDontWeOwnThis.com has been evolving its technology since then, creating a similar database/online mapping tool for vacant parcels in Detroit that are owned by the city, county and state. It is now creating a similar database for the 5,000 properties that will come up in auction later this month.
Wayne County is holding an auction for 5,000 properties left over from last fall's auction. Vacant lots will be for sale for a minimum bid of $200 and those with structures will be for sale for a minimum bid of $500. For information on the auction, click here www.waynecountytreasurermi.com.
"We want to be make sure everyone can see what properties are around and create some conversations around them," says Jerry Pfaffendorf
, co-founder of LOVELAND Technologies
The 4-year-old start-up is made up of its three co-founders and a growing stable of independent contractors. It was the first tenant in the quasi small business incubator at 2051 Rosa Parks Blvd in Corktown when it moved in last fall. It is looking to create a bigger conversation about vacant, underutilized property next fall at the next Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction. Pfaffendorf equates it with a aggressive grassroots effort to find owners for every building.
"LOVELAND has been talking very seriously about the possibility of doing a large crowd-funding effort for next fall's auction," Pfaffendorf says. "We're think of it as a no property left behind thing."
Source: Jerry Pfaffendorf, co-founder of LOVELAND Technologies
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.