Archdiocese mum on sale of Inn at St. Johns
Aug. 20, 2021 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
While terms of the sale were not disclosed, the long- rumored sale of The Inn at St. John’s property in Plymouth has been confirmed.
After months of speculation, the Archdiocese of Detroit announced that hotel, golf course, banquet center and other land along Five Mile road between Northville and Sheldon roads has been sold to Pulte Family Management SJ LLC.
The former St. John’s Catholic Seminary originally opened in 1948 and housed and educated priests until it was closed by the Archdiocese in 1988.
The late William Pulte was a member of the group of Catholic business owners who worked to develop the former seminary campus into the current golf course, hotel configuration.
“The Inn at St. John’s was near and dear to my father’s heart,” said Mark Pulte, William Pulte’s son, in a news release announcing the sale. “He was honored to work with Cardinal Maida on the transformation of this beautiful property and to have played a role in its success. When the Archdiocese expressed interest in selling the property, my father’s estate was a natural choice. They knew that it would be in good hands.”
According to the prepared statement, the St. John’s hotel, conference rooms and reception centers along with the golf course will remain in operation. The Archdiocese is expected to lease the chapel space from Pulte to allow for weddings at the venue.
“This purchase is yet another example of the Pulte family’s longstanding commitment to southeast Michigan and the local church in Detroit,” said Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron in a statement.
“The decision to sell was motivated in part by the considerable challenges of a Catholic organization operating a hotel conference center – especially during the pandemic – so we are grateful that Pulte Family Management SJ LLC has stepped forward to purchase the property and operate it going forward, ensuring its continued legacy and value in the local community.”
Last week by Archdiocese of Detroit spokesperson and director of communications Ned McGrath deferred comments to the the AOD Board of Directors and the new owner, Pulte.
McGrath declined to address questions about the sale or past rumors of contamination, the pullout of the Concours d’Elegance, but told The Eagle/Plymouth Voice he was not the answer person for St. Johns.
Two years ago the AOD announced plans to sell the majority of the golf course land for a residential development. The builder in turn worked with the Plymouth Township Planning Commission toward the creation of a private gated community made up of 174 townhomes on a portion of the grounds located at Five Mile and Sheldon Road. The development was lauded and publicized by the AOD, township officials, real estate investors and the the builder of record, Toll Brothers.
Twelve months later without explanation the deal was suddenly off.
Rumors were that the builder asked the AOD for a guarantee that the golf course would remain on the site, ad infinitum, or forever. Another unsubstantiated claim was that there is contamination of the site that would require costly cleanup.
At that time, McGrath would only say the sale of a portion of the land for the project would help generate needed revenue for improvements (at the site).