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Snyder Taps Major Real Estate Developer for GOP Chair

Posted to on Tuesday, November 23, 2010


INTRO: Real estate developer Robert Schostak is likely to become the new chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. Yesterday, Governor-elect Rick Snyder said he wants Schostak to get the job. Michigan Now’s Chris McCarus looks at how he fits in with the new administration.

Schostak Brothers & Co. own properties in 19 states worth a half billion dollars. They operate 59 Burger Kings in Michigan. Bob Schostak spoke this month in Flint at The University of Michigan Urban Land Institute. The ULI tries to set trends in real estate.

“Entertainment, restaurant, theaters, bowling, games, things that bring families together and keep them there longer are the anchor for downtowns. It’s not gonna be the department store. It’s not gonna be Ann Taylor. It’s not gonna be what we see in the malls.”

The Schostak Brothers own property along Woodward in downtown Detroit. But they have built a lot of malls. They’re building new developments in Northville Township, Northfield Township, Rochester Hills and Salem Township. This might conflict with Rick Snyder’s 10 point plan to reinvent Michigan. Point 5 is called “Restore Cities and Control Urban Sprawl.”

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INTRO: Governor-elect Rick Snyder is backing real estate developer Robert Schostak as the next GOP chairman. If Schostak gets the job, he’ll bring vast experience with an ailing sector of the economy. Michigan Now’s Chris McCarus reports.

Bob Schostak spoke this month in Flint. The University of Michigan Urban Land Institute was assessing trends in real estate. Schostak showed a map of buildings along Woodward Ave in Detroit, between Campus Martius and Grand Circus Park.

“You’ve got someone in New York that bought a building for a dollar in an auction. And they’re just riding this storm out. They’ve been through 3 recessions owning them. What’s a fourth to them?”

Schostak Brothers & Company also own entire buildings there. Schostak says city governments need control of downtown properties.

“Not just Detroit. Flint, Grand Rapids has done it. Saginaw, any of these urban areas that want redevelopment, they need to acquire the buildings. They have to put it together, the funds and redevelopment agencies, which most of them have, fund them and buy them for as little as they can and then be prepared to invest in them again by putting them in capable people’s hands.”

The 54 year old Schostak lives in Bloomfield Township. His two brothers assumed leadership of the company this year while Bobby raised money for the GOP. At last year’s Urban Land forum, a little known candidate for governor also talked real estate. That was Rick Snyder.

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