detroit vacant properties

Investigative
4:40 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Detroit sells $1 million worth of vacant homes

The city of Detroit says it’s sold $1 million dollars worth of vacant homes that will be fixed up and occupied. Nearly 70 auctioned properties have been sold.

These are purchase commitments from bidders, not cash in hand, but reaching the million-dollar mark gives Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and the Detroit Land Bank some bragging rights.

Of the 16,000 properties the city owns, 2,000 are salvageable. At an open house of properties to be auctioned last month, Mayor Duggan said the city would start putting up two houses a day for auction.

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Politics & Government
7:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Detroit Blight Authority reboots in Oakland County

Detroit Blight Authority Chair Bill Pulte.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Blight Authority is turning its attention to Oakland County.

The non-profit group has started working with the city of Pontiac, which has more than 550 homes on a demolition list. Almost 400 of them can be demolished immediately.

The Blight Authority had been working with the city of Detroit, taking on several large-scale residential demolition projects.

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Detroit City Council approves massive property transfer to city land bank

The Detroit Land Bank Authority is a key part of Mayor Mike Duggan's anti-blight efforts.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit City Council has agreed to transfer more than 16,000 city owned properties to Detroit’s land bank authority.

The transfer allows Mayor Mike Duggan’s ambitious blight eradication efforts to move forward.

Duggan wants to use the non-profit land bank as a key tool in the fight against blight.

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Detroit's historic Brewster-Douglass housing projects will soon be gone

Former Brewster projects resident Colbert Prince at the demolition site, with a picture of himself and a childhood friend. Prince remembers the housing complex as a warm, tight-knit community.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s historic Brewster-Douglass housing projects will finally come all the way down sometime this spring.

The final stage of the ongoing demolition effort at the 18.5 acre site started Monday. Officials say it will last for another two months, while land restoration will continue throughout the summer.

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Business
5:00 am
Wed March 5, 2014

No, Chinese investors aren't 'buying up Detroit' – but they do have an eye on the Motor City

Since Detroit filed for bankruptcy last summer, there have been lots of stories going around about major Chinese money pouring into city real estate.The headlines tend to read something like: “China is buying up Detroit.”

In truth, there’s not much hard evidence to support that kind of dramatic claim.

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Detroit leaders promise ambitious 'Future City' plan will become reality

Detroit Future City will focus heavily on stabilizing Detroit neighborhoods, in part through blight eradication.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit officials say they’re committed to making the Detroit Future City plan a reality.

The comprehensive –and controversial – plan has been years in the making. It’s meant to serve as a long-term guide for city leaders and policy-makers.

Detroit Future City started with a more modest goal –finding a better way to deal with Detroit’s abundant vacant land.

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Politics & Government
5:48 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Detroit group: City needs to spread development efforts to neighborhoods

A blighted home in Detroit.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A group of grassroots Detroit activists says the city needs to broaden its vision of re-development beyond downtown.

The group Michigan United has proposed a plan it calls “restoring our communities.”

It proposes a city ordinance with concrete measures to control blight and revitalize Detroit’s suffering residential neighborhoods.

Measures include:

·        Requiring banks to post a $10,000 bond for each foreclosure. Groups leaders say this has worked well and raised revenue in other cities.

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Politics & Government
8:42 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Anti-foreclosure funds will raze thousands of homes in Detroit, 4 other Michigan cities

An abandoned home about the meet the bulldozer in Detroit
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Thousands of vacant homes will come down in five Michigan cities, thanks to a diversion of federal money.

The first blighted homes demolished in the $100 million effort came down in the Marygrove neighborhood on Detroit’s west side Monday.

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Economy
3:59 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Stateside: Concerned residents and their neighborhood improvements

Grandmont Rosedale residents help maintain their community.
http://www.grandmontrosedale.com/business.html

Cyndy spoke with Heidi Alcock and Tom Goddeeris about neighborhood improvement and community engagement in Detroit.

Detroit's revitalization is a recurring topic on Stateside.

The city's vacant buildings are an interactive lesson in real estate and community maintenance.

Today, Stateside focused on neighborhood improvement and community engagement.

Heidi Alcock of the Detroit Vacant Property Campaign and Tom Goddeeris of the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation shared their revitalization goals.

Alcock started the Detroit Vacant Property Campaign to reduce the amount of abandoned buildings in Detroit- improving both property value and morale.

“One vacant property can be very dangerous on an otherwise stable block,” said Alcock.

“Beginning with the mortgage foreclosure crisis we’ve seen vacancy rate go from about 2% in 2000 to 11% in 2010. Probably the biggest impact it’s had on our community is that it has driven values down,” said Goddeeris.

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Politics & Government
10:56 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Shuttered Detroit fire station hit by vandals

A broken window at Engine 10 headquarters.
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

Another shuttered fire station in Detroit has been vandalized.

City officials confirmed Monday night that the former Engine 10 quarters in southwest Detroit was hit by vandals, and that some copper piping was stolen.

A fire department spokesman would not release further details about the extent of the vandalism Tuesday, saying the department was still looking into it.

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Politics & Government
11:57 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Slowly, Bing plans for Detroit neighborhoods move forward

Detroit officials are showing off progress on some of Mayor Dave Bing’s signature initiatives.

Bing toured a rehabbed historic house in the city’s once-prestigious Boston-Edison neighborhood Tuesday. Boston-Edison has historically been one of the city’s stronger communities, but it’s seen blight creep in steadily over recent years.

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Politics & Government
7:59 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Targeted Detroit neighborhoods, schools get major boost

A house about to be demolished in the Morningside neighborhood.
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan, the city of Detroit and the Detroit Public Schools have launched an intensive effort to stabilize some city neighborhoods.

The targeted interventions focus on three major areas around a total of nine schools across the city.

The effort officially kicked off Thursday afternoon outside Clark Preparatory Academy in Detroit’s Morningside neighborhood, on the city’s east side. Other targeted areas include the communities around Bagley and Bates schools in northwest Detroit, and several schools including the Roberto Clemente Academy in southwest Detroit.

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Politics & Government
7:56 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Detroit kicks off demolition blitz

Demolition begins in southwest Detroit.
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit has launched an effort to take down more than 150 vacant homes in one city neighborhood.

The effort kicked off at one intersection in southwest Detroit, where multiple apartment buildings stood vacant and scrapped.

The demolition campaign is part of Mayor Dave Bing’s plans to demolish 1500 abandoned buildings citywide by fall.

It’s also tied to Bing’s Detroit Works project, which is an effort to direct resources into stemming blight in some of the city’s more stable neighborhoods.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Detroit's 'Summer 2012 Demolition Plan' receives bank settlement funds

An abandoned home in Detroit
Kate Davidson Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit will receive $10 million of a statewide $25 million fund to counter blight in Michigan.

Last month, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing pledged to demolish 10,000 vacant buildings in the city by December 2013, the end of his four-year term.

The state funding comes during the mayor's "Summer 2012 Demolition Plan," during which he plans to raze 1,500 buildings by this September.

Some of those buildings went down today. In a media advisory this morning, the Mayor's Office said,

Four apartment buildings and another dangerous structure will be razed simultaneously Thursday morning in the Detroit Works Project Demonstration Area #3.

The demolition funds come from the state's $97 million share of a national settlement with banks over faulty foreclosure processes.  Yesterday, the Michigan house and senate voted on how to divvy up the money across state projects.

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Politics & Government
6:27 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Bing praises state plan to aid Detroit

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, left, and Governor Snyder in Detroit.
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder is ready to send bulldozers, cops and social welfare workers into Detroit.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing confirmed reports Friday that the state is sending money and resources Detroit’s way.

The goal is to focus intensely on stabilizing several city neighborhoods, with an emphasis on demolishing vacant homes.

Bing says state and city officials chose the target neighborhoods jointly.

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Offbeat
11:16 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Revitalizing Detroit? Consider zombies

A rendering of Z World Detroit, a proposed zombie-themed game zone where players would run for their lives in one of the city's abandoned neighborhoods
http://www.indiegogo.com/zworlddetroit

People have come up with a lot of ideas about how to repurpose the large swaths of vacant land and abandoned buildings in Detroit, but turning them over to the undead is probably a first.

No, the zombie apocalypse isn't finally upon us, at least as far as we here at Michigan Radio know. The "zombies" in this case would be "professionals" there to chase paying customers as they flee through derelict neighborhoods and crumbling warehouses.

The zombie-themed "game zone" is the brainchild of Clawson's Marc Siwak who told Detroit's WWJ-AM that he envisions a structured game where an initial group of professional zombies catches participants and assimilates them, while the remaining "living" players try to avoid the growing horde.

Siwak is currently trying to raise funding through online crowd-sourcing.  WWJ reports that while he has failed to secure any sort of permission from the city, he thinks Z World Detroit would fit in well alongside urban farms and other projects aimed at transforming blighted areas.

From Siwak's website:

“There are formal proposals to essentially abandon some of Detroit’s neighborhoods. That’s not a solution.  Collectively we must be more creative than that. Let’s do something fun and unique that will revitalize an area while creating some jobs for Detroiters.”

Siwak told WWJ-AM that he's already received resumes from brain-hungry potential employees.

-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Changing Gears
3:33 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Blotting Update: Detroit wants to sell you this lot for $200

Sharon McClinton cares for the vacant land around her house. Detroit is trying to make it easier for residents like her to buy that land, too.
Kate Davidson Changing Gears

Apparently, the phone has been ringing off the hook over at Detroit’s planning department.

It’s all because of a few lines uttered by Mayor Dave Bing in his State of the City address last week. (You’ll find them about 30 minutes in.)

“This week we sent out over 500 letters to property owners in Hubbard Farms, Springwells Village and Southwest Detroit,” he announced, “telling them if they own a home adjacent to a vacant city-owned lot, they can purchase this lot for a mere $200.”

“No coming downtown,” the mayor said.  “No added bureaucracy. The city will mail back the deed.”

Bing’s initiative is a response to the overwhelming problem of abandoned property in Detroit.

It’s a problem we explored in our stories about Detroit “blotters” — which you can see here and here.

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Auto/Economy
10:15 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Detroit neighborhoods struggle with squatters

flickr user Detroit1701 flickr.com

City officials have confirmed what residents in many Detroit neighborhoods have said for several years: squatting is on the rise.

Detroit has more than 100,000 vacant properties. And with the foreclosure crisis, even the city’s most stable neighborhoods are dealing with squatters.

Michael Brady is with Community Legal Resources, a group that has helped neighborhood groups deal with vacant property issues in Detroit.

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