Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 North Pointe, Highland Park - What were they thinking?! Previous Next
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Esteban
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Username: Esteban

Post Number: 76
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 1:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Highland Park was in serious trouble. It was losing population, it was bankrupt. Something had to be done. The best and brightest put their heads together. They reasoned, "Highland Park is losing tax-paying residents. Let's build a lot of ticky-tacky houses and people are sure to swamp our city, falling over themselves to be the first to buy one of these fine $130,000 houses!"
So rather than care for what was already here - perhaps throw in some maintainable parks and playgrounds (a coffee shop would be nice,) they actually went ahead with this hair-brained housing scheme. Notice I use the work 'they', not specifically naming names? This is because, mysteriously, no one is running forward to take credit for "North Pointe" (Now, who came up with that name?) Cruise by, check it out. It's quite astounding. It would look really impressive on the cover of a National Geographic, "Failing city produces modern ghost town." Come, check it out, just east of Woodward, south of McNichols.
The first three photos are taken in 2005, when the 'family homes' were spanking new. See how rather pathetic they look, compared to the magnificent ruins they stand next to.
The proceeding nine photos were taken in January 2008. A quick trip through the real estate database shows that the few folks who were actually foolish enough to purchase these fine establishments have long since defaulted. The boxes now stand mute and empty, close to a hundred of them. The doors kicked in, windows smashed, copper stripped.
Now, let's play a game. Let's see which ruins last longer. The ones just completed, or the ones constructed close to a century ago.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 1372
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 2:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

WTF were they thinking to build those next to burn outs and vacant houses etc? That's not too too far from my ghettohood.. I'm going to drive by. What a waste of money.

It's kinda like those were finals for a general contracting and construction school. Like some kinda of urban planning experiment.

(Message edited by viziondetroit on January 22, 2008)
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Dustin89
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Username: Dustin89

Post Number: 193
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 2:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm surprised this was not brought up back when Channel 7 did a story a few months ago about some people in Highland Park whose home was being flooded because there was running water in the neighboring abandoned property. I thought the significant fact that was not mentioned was that the neighboring property was a close to new or brand new home.
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Tetsua
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Username: Tetsua

Post Number: 1396
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 2:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's a damn waste of money, it would have been nice to have the other homes demolished, or rehabbed first. I know whoever put up the new housing was shaking their head the whole time. You could honestly market that stretch to horror / post apocalyptic film makers. They probably wouldn't even have to do too much to the background.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4374
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 2:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The design of those houses is really not bad. The decision to build them where they were built, and at that level of quality, is poor.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 1373
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 2:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah the houses aren't that bad for what they are... they are just poorly located.
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Hybridy
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Username: Hybridy

Post Number: 202
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 2:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i believe vanguard had something to do with those homes. i asked about it, and their reps wouldn't comment if they were vanguard or not.
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Hybridy
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Username: Hybridy

Post Number: 203
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 3:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

heres the original press release
http://cityofhighlandpark.us/d ocs/north%20pointe%20press%20r elease.htm
its not vanguard
candler stevens built them
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Iddude313
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Username: Iddude313

Post Number: 137
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 3:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Leave a nice fat juicy house abandoned in the city and someone will take advantage of it.
I've driven by here several times and its shocking to say the least.
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Andylinn
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Username: Andylinn

Post Number: 684
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 3:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

this is depressing... the actual idea was pretty awesome:

Highland park press-release excerpt:

"The houses will... feature a unique rent to own program that is designed to create first-time home buyers after a two-year or less credit repair effort. Applicants will also be required to participate in the local neighborhood watch program, join the existing community organization, attend classes on neighborhood living skills, and home repair and be subjected to credit and criminal background checks. We are interested in having the home buyers become stakeholders in their immediate neighborhood and in the general city... Equipping current and new residents with information and skill sets will foster a more stable and secure neighborhood."
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 1629
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 3:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Seems silly to build a tiny house on a big lot, with vacant lots next door. This ain't a 20 foot wide lot.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4375
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 3:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's a great point. Without re-drawing the property lines, these are kind of awkward.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 7011
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 3:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You see how much urban disinvestment can do. What a waste of good building materials. Selling those pitiful homes to suckers; they can do better than that. Those builders really exploited Highland Park at the end.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 1374
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 3:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"North Pointe is a wonderful Christmas present for the citizens of our city, says City Council President Dr. Ameenah Omar."


was it really?
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1953
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Username: 1953

Post Number: 1529
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 7:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Would it have cost them so much to hire a security guard?
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Detroit_stylin
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Username: Detroit_stylin

Post Number: 5452
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 8:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Q. What were they thinking?



A. They weren't.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 1378
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 8:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Would it have cost them so much to hire a security guard?"

^ they weren't really centrally located.. they are scattered about so it would have been difficult to secure these houses.
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Jonesy
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Username: Jonesy

Post Number: 450
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 8:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =d_DCVhLLnHY
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Jonesy
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Username: Jonesy

Post Number: 451
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 8:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =qxvpComh824
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Jonesy
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Username: Jonesy

Post Number: 452
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 8:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =zdVuEpD9_IY
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Histeric
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Username: Histeric

Post Number: 826
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 8:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yea. How dare they attempt to do a scattered sit infill project and not succeed. How dare they go against the current and attempt to revitalize a distressed neighborhood. What the hell were they thinking? Funcking rubes.
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Russix
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Username: Russix

Post Number: 66
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 8:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The homes aren't bad, the locations aren't even that bad. What screws this up is you can by the run-down house next door for $500-$1000 and fix it up for way less than $130,000. The city should try to sell these as soon as possible even at a loss before they are scavenged to bits or burned out by vangrants trying to stay warm for the winter.

(Message edited by russix on January 22, 2008)
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Bearinabox
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Username: Bearinabox

Post Number: 501
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 8:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

...and have a much nicer house when you're done.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 1380
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 8:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"The city should try to sell these as soon as possible even at a loss before they are scavenged to bits or burned out by vangrants trying to stay warm for the winter. "

^^ too late
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Russix
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Username: Russix

Post Number: 67
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 9:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Government is a tool to funnel money into yours and your buddy's pockets.
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Dhugger
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Username: Dhugger

Post Number: 387
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 9:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

WTF precisely. This boondoggle of a project sure smells bad.

This whole project certainly feels like somebody had their hands in the pie some how. Sure hope I'm wrong on this suspicion.

Didn't Habitat for Humanity do some great rehabs on the old houses for folks in HP? Why not build on that success instead of trying to develop inferior housing on burned out blocks. -OR- work on tearing down abandon homes. Perhaps the people around them will maintain hope and pride instead of feeling defeated amongst the abandon shells. Clear out the wasted / abandon ones and focus on the salvageable properties.
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1526
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 9:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The story of this development was covered last year in this thread:

https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/107211/115825.html

Scroll down until you see Eric_c's comments. He works in the area and is pretty knowledgeable about what went down.
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Esteban
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Username: Esteban

Post Number: 77
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 11:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow! The photo image link in last years thread is really worthwhile checking out:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/1 4732812@N03/sets/72157602325088292/

North Pointe 'Village' is a real mess. Who would be responsible for cleaning it up?
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Frumoasa
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Username: Frumoasa

Post Number: 104
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 12:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The houses definitely had some design flaws...one of the abandoned homes clearly is infested with mold as you can see from the kicked in door...that house should not be moldy. After a few years, the basement and roof should still be keeping water out, so there was definitely a flaw in construction because that is unacceptable. On a more positive note, there are a few well maintained infill homes right off McNichols that are occupied and tidy, though some of the homes have survived, although it seems some have led a short and troublesome life. Highland Park could have a lot going for it, prime location, Woodward, the Davison and the Lodge lead right into it, but until they clean up some of the mess...the nice neighborhoods that are relatively close to it will continue to suffer from the neglect that radiates out from that area.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 1382
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 12:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"After a few years, the basement and roof should still be keeping water out,"

^ that may be true... but that's usually when the windows and doors are still in tact. In the picture you are referring to, those look like dents in the wall and the rest looks like dirt. Any home would look like that if it's subject to the elements and vandalism as such.
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Tkshreve
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Username: Tkshreve

Post Number: 261
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 1:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If this wasn't some scam already then....

I would have to say that the one thing that the designers were idiots for not thinking is this: If they want to revitalize a community in a very run down area, you have to build these houses tight together. People want neighbors who will watch out for each other. They don't want the only traffic to consist of lost bums and people looking for somewhere to urinate. Who would live in Highland Park surrounded by nothing?
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 4484
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 1:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Poor Highland Park, once so mighty, the city with the factory that changed the world, now beaten down, humbled, shrunken with no friends or sympathy -- only derision and more humilities.

When those were built the first thing I noticed, beyond their narrow "shotgun house" design, was that there were no gutters on the roof eaves. Now I know that is no big deal but, c'mon, it is. Over time no gutters = no foundations, no lawn...

For several years, I drove my son to school through that neighborhood to St. Benedicts, once the anchor of a prosperous community in walking distance from fabulous Palmer Park. Esteban's picture show you that the houses were substantial middle-middle to slightly upper-middle class. Many would have fireplaces, hardware floors and other accoutrements.

By then it had declined into a ravaged neighborhood of burned-out hulks with open drug dealing and, as always, a few islands of united neighbors with kept-up properties.

I was encouraged when the first Northpointe houses, built along John R near St. Benedicts, were substantial three bed ranch style houses -- not of the style of the older houses but, hey, we'll take it. At least their quality was equal to what had survived.

Then came the tiny houses, midgets to the predecessors, no gutters, no landscaping and, I suspect, no many other things. My first thought was, these are going to be a disaster... and, sadly, they were.

I would love to see the books on that one. My feeling is that this may have been one of those toss-ups enabled by the cheap subprime, no early interest easy money that was floating all over the place then. Funny thing I seemed to hear something about it again, in the last two days of crashing stock markets.

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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 7013
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 8:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jonesy,

Quit trolling! What are those dumb pictures from You Tube have to do with this thread?
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 7014
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 8:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lowell,

All of those once big beautiful middle income colonials in Highland Park ghettohoods are now reduced to crackhead estates. Even the sucker homes at the Northpointe area. Fell victim to the crackheads. Rats, roaches, cats and dogs mold are now the primary residents in those sucker homes. Most Black folks and any other ethnic folks will not but or fell for those sucker homes. It has no value no appeal. It look like rejects from the Jeffrey, Brewster/Douglass projects. I say tear them all down and rebuild including the abandon homes on the side and build some real luxury homes.
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Frumoasa
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Username: Frumoasa

Post Number: 105
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 11:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, that is definitely mold and not dirt...the growth pattern doesn't look the same as merely a dirty house, those round spots of various sizes all clustered around each other are definitely mold and I am not surprised. I have seen many repossessions and the cheap new construction is infamous for it. Cheap contractors doing a poor job and allowing the moisture to get in could have been the reason that house was abandoned. Nobody should be forced to live in a house infested by mold...it harms children, pets and grown adults by reducing lung capacity, causing more frequent asthma attacks and many other problems that could have been averted and maybe that family would have still been in the home.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 1813
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 1:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Heh. Asking Detroit's leaders to come up with a solution is like asking a shoe-seller if you need new shoes. How long will our citiy suffer under unfunded mandates and silly development schemes that funnel money off to contractors, who laugh all the way to the bank?
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Dabirch
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Username: Dabirch

Post Number: 2504
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 2:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

For several years, I drove my son to school through that neighborhood to St. Benedicts



My dad went to St. Benedicts...
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2567
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 2:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

The story of this development was covered last year in this thread:

https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/107211/115825.html

Scroll down until you see Eric_c's comments. He works in the area and is pretty knowledgeable about what went down.



Some classic comments were made on that thread...
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 2043
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 4:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The captions on the hpfolks.com site are hilarious, despite the tragic pictures.
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Esteban
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Username: Esteban

Post Number: 78
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 12:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It seems to me that Highland Park's decline is not done yet. I live on one of the marginally intact streets, but in the last half a year, several houses have died on our block. This is how it typically happens:
An elderly individual passes away, there is a double mortgage on the house, and none of the surviving family members have the funds or willpower to take it in hand. So it sits there empty for about a half a year until the neighborhood parasites break in and strip the copper.
Sadly, the city seems helpless to do anything effective. You can call the police (who by the way are pretty decent), they come and look, shrug at the broken door and tell you there's nothing they can do. Then you call the City. Usually they are out to lunch, all day. Occasionally someone picks up the phone, they lend you a sympathetic ear and tell you that action will be taken.
It won't.
As the house falls further into disrepair, the adjoining neighbors pack up and leave and the process starts again.
I have lived in Highland Park since 1975, and I have watched this steady decline. If I thought there was a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel, I'd consider staying - but there isn't. The sad fact of the matter is that Highland Park has not hit bottom yet, Nor do I see how it could pull itself out of bankruptcy in any real sense in any foreseeable future.
That a city like this should have such promise and be allowed to sink so far - well, I would never have thought it was possible.
I'm tired of fighting loosing battles, now I want to win some. So I think perhaps it is time to move.
It is a bitter defeat.
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Eastsidedame
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Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 193
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 4:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Guliani may be looking for a new challenge soon. He did wonders for Times Square....
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Jerrytimes
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Username: Jerrytimes

Post Number: 97
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 12:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why does this not shock me.

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