Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Burned out structures in the city Previous Next
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Exmotowner
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Username: Exmotowner

Post Number: 232
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 4:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just was reading the Fire in the city thread and was amazed at the pictures of the burned out homes that were posted. Here is my post on that thread but I kinda felt this needed a thread of its own. (sorry if it was already done)

My thoughts after looking at the pics.....

Why the sam hell is the owners of those properties not made to tear down those burned out homes! I just cannot get over that in Detroit! WTF!! The city should give notice to the owner then start taking/confiscating for pay the property and tearing the shit down! I know there are burned out buildings all over detroit! MAYOR'S OFFICE/CITY COUNCIL! GET WITH THE PROGRAM AND START MAKING THESE HOME/BUILDING OWNERS ACCOUNTABLE! They have to know how bad that looks on Detroit! How many burned out buildings are torn down every day by the city? Anyone got any stats? Can the city just not keep up or have they just become that complacent? That is something you really dont see in most other cities! I just dont get it!
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1953
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Username: 1953

Post Number: 1352
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 4:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You are the sole reason for the decline of Detroit.
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Susanarosa
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Username: Susanarosa

Post Number: 1455
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 4:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great idea! So I take it that you have the millions of dollars it takes for B&SE to tear down all of these houses? I'm sure the Administration and Council will want to put it in their budget.
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Exmotowner
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Username: Exmotowner

Post Number: 233
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 4:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"You are the sole reason for the decline of Detroit." Oh come on 1953 Give me a break. If I am the sole reason for the decline of detroit then it really is one F*&%^ up city!

And yea, surely the city has a department that is in charge of demolition. Take the property Tear down the Dangerous structures and sell it for the cost of tearing it down. How many other cities have burned out houses like detroit does? Not many I've seen.
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Susanarosa
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Username: Susanarosa

Post Number: 1457
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 4:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

First of all, "taking" the property consists of a long drawn-out legal process of clearing the title.

Secondly, who would buy a vacant lot for the cost of tearing it down? In many cases demolition would probably exceed the price of the vacant land.
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Susanarosa
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Username: Susanarosa

Post Number: 1458
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 4:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry exmotowner. You have a good, passionate point, it's just that the reality is much harder than it appears to the outside viewer.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2382
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 4:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^Is there something wrong with enforcing the local building code??? That would seem to be cheaper than taking possession.

I'm not in favor of mass demolition of vacant homes, if they are relatively structurally sound.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 824
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 5:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Once the land becomes more valuable than the structure on the land, the structure will be razed.

Interestingly, architecture writers like Stewart Brand think that undervalued cities are the places where humbler historic architecture has the best hope for survival. In other cities, the land becomes much more valuable than the house sited on it, and it gets redeveloped. That's great, but we also lose our architectural heritage that way.
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Eric_w
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Username: Eric_w

Post Number: 129
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 5:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Why the sam hell is the owners of those properties not made to tear down those burned out homes! I just cannot get over that in Detroit!"
Good point however keep this mind-for more than 40 years Detroit's been a screwed up mess. From the mayors to the council members during this time it been one big mess. With the city facing it economic problems it's going to get much uglier
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Diesel
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Username: Diesel

Post Number: 16
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 5:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

susanarosa
"Secondly, who would buy a vacant lot for the cost of tearing it down? In many cases demolition would probably exceed the price of the vacant land."

Demolition is fairly cheap for say a burned down single family home. From experience it could be done with no variables for $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 in most cases.
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Exmotowner
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Username: Exmotowner

Post Number: 234
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 6:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gosh guys. I really dont know what to say. And Please pardon me for ranting. One thing, Im crazy homesick and I know I hear from my friends "how bad things are" too. I guess my point is I know its somebodys job as far as enforcing codes and things and from an "outsider" looking in it just looks like someone or a lot of someones are NOT doing their job(s). Thats just like the burned out buildings all over the city (I had Palmer Park in mind)that are dangerous. Theres got to be somebody for leveeing those fines and a department for collections. Theres got to be a way to make the owners accountable. If its unsafe and beyond restoration get the owner and make them do something. What makes these owners think that leaving a big ole unsafe burned out building or even a house that is unsafe ok? Its NOT!

I sure wish I had the answers! I really have no expectations anymore about what to expect when i come home. I hear the city is coming back then I see pictures of all the burned out houses and it really bothers me. I do intend to look for the good when I come home! I love detroit as much as you guys. Please remember I have good intent! LOL

The fixes sure sound easy when I say em from Nashville huh! I know their not.
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 2557
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 6:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, it's about $5K to tear down a house. The trouble is there are 2500 homes a year abandoned in the city. That adds up to $12.5 Million dollars to tear down 1 years worth of demolitions. We also have a huge backlog of homes that need to be torn down.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 1212
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 8:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You do not have to have a takings. Remember the homeowner and his insurance company are responsible for making sure the building is kept safe and in good condition.

The problem lies in enforcing the rules that are already there. I'm still wondering how effective the Department of Adminstrative Hearings is, as the City seems worse now, not better.
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Ventura67
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Username: Ventura67

Post Number: 120
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 9:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Remember many of those burned out buildings were intentionally burned; to collect insurance money on a home that was unsellable, then default on taxes, let the state have it and disappear to the suburbs with a good down payment for a much higher valued home.

Not that I think its cool but what would you do if you owed on a mortgage that was significantly more than the home's rapidly declining value that no one else on earth would buy?

Kinda like a lot of our older houses all over the region with the flood of new construction that outpaces population growth. Ultimately that was one of Detroit's most significant declining factors after WWII, had local government curbed the suburban growth Detroit would have a LOT fewer burned out houses, and a lot more people.
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Kathinozarks
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Username: Kathinozarks

Post Number: 397
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 10:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So, is Detroit the only large city that has this problem?

What about Chicago, NY City, South LA? Anyone know?
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6nois
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Username: 6nois

Post Number: 154
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 11:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Um where in Palmer Park are you thinking? There really aren't more than two or three in that area, all on McNichols. I think there are issues with the houses being left, I feel that boarding them up is a better option, or well cheaper. I personally find them great subjects as well; I used them for my final architecture studio project this semester. Groups such as Detroit Collaborative Design Center, and Orange use the houses in design projects, or by painting them orange respectively which brings attention to the issue and they are then torn down. In other words they are great subjects for art. In a way I like Detroit the way it is, a great-undisturbed playground for experimentation and exploration of the obscure.
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Bulletmagnet
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Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 305
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 11:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitnerd, A while back I caught holy hell here for showing an interest in some of the humbler structures of Detroit. How nice to see that I am not alone. Here are a few examples of simple, humble homes worth saving, just because:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com /170/465690332_3f9f68b1f3_b.jp g
http://farm1.static.flickr.com /222/465732813_fb2a237db0_b.jp g
http://farm1.static.flickr.com /193/465732811_b9f65143b5_b.jp g
http://farm1.static.flickr.com /216/465732807_3b12aeede9_b.jp g
http://farm1.static.flickr.com /214/465732805_610700b537_b.jp g
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6nois
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Username: 6nois

Post Number: 155
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 11:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bulletmagnet, those houses are all great in there own way. They should be preserved. Not preserving them does not do justice to Detroit or the historic fabric of the city. For the city being 300 years old we have a miserable record of preservation. Many people have a hard time of see 300 years of history here because there isn't much that is old. The only way to highlight history is by preserving the buildings of every decade while building new ones in less important structures places.
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Lukabottle
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Username: Lukabottle

Post Number: 34
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, April 20, 2007 - 12:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Building and Safety does not have the staff needed to support services. They deal more on a complaint basis. There is just not enough staff. Granted I only interned with the City for 4 months but I give them credit for what they do accomplish. I may not have the insight some of you may from working in city department.

There are also problems determining who owners are. Sometimes Wayne County has a different owner listed than the city, vice versa. I think this was the dilemma with the parking garage that was located across from the Leland hotel but I could be wrong.

On a bitter note:
I do have to agree with holding former landlords accountable. I think residents who abandoned their homes (especially during the white flight) should be responsible for what they left behind if they are still the registered owner. Even though my grandfather would hang me for this comment.
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Barnesfoto
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Username: Barnesfoto

Post Number: 3373
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, April 20, 2007 - 1:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Code enforcement went out the window during the Coleman Young years. Abandonment occurred at a feverish pace, and CAY's circle of loyalist-incompetents fiddled while the city crumbled.
Especially guilty was the Law Department, which appeared to make little or no attempt to foreclose on many properties in which no taxes were payed for years...
In the 80s and early 90's, one slumlord in my neighborhood stopped paying taxes,(as well as making repairs) yet continued to collect rents on her portfolio of 5 properties for 8 years...When the tenants tired of her not fixing anything, they moved out and the properties were abandoned. A neighbor who wanted to purchase them from the city was rebuffed, because the Law Dept. had never made a move to foreclose on them, despite almost a decade of non-payment of property taxes. All of her properties eventually were torched and demoed at taxpayer expense. There were a number of other slumlords in my area who got away with the same tricks.
Of course, the positive spin to the story is that the city occasionally took properties for unpaid taxes BEFORE they were burned (Usually because neighbors stepped in and baby-sat the properties.)
So in the 90's, myself and several friend were able to purchase house-shells at bargain basement prices...If only the city had been more aggressive at taking and reselling these properties...(That's kind of like saying "If only CAY had stepped down after a couple terms!")
Things got better for a while as property values increased in the last decade; what happens in the next 5 years is going to be interesting.
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Harsensis
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Username: Harsensis

Post Number: 260
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Friday, April 20, 2007 - 1:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Now we have a lot of abandoned houses in the suburbs. In Grosse Pointe there are empty houses everywhere that people have just walked away from. Bullet, thanks for tagging the brush pile on one that is empty and those branches aren't going anywhere soon. I know of at least six houses that are empty within a block of us, four of them are foreclosures.
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Bulletmagnet
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Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 306
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, April 20, 2007 - 6:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gheesh! I hope I don't become one of those...
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Exmotowner
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Username: Exmotowner

Post Number: 235
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Friday, April 20, 2007 - 8:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I guess I was talking about the buildings in PP that are along McNichols. My friend told me that just about every other one is either burned out or boarded up. But not just those buildings, what about the ones on Lowell's fabulous apartment ruins? Those are still very dangerous. It just seems like the city could do more. I know "easier said than done".
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Ltdave
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Username: Ltdave

Post Number: 45
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Friday, April 20, 2007 - 8:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"""You are the sole reason for the decline of Detroit." Oh come on 1953 Give me a break. If I am the sole reason for the decline of detroit then it really is one F*&%^ up city! ""

Hey Ex, you CANT be the sole reason, IM the sole reason at least according to 1953 who lambasted me for wanting to work 12 miles from home instead of 60...

david
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6nois
Member
Username: 6nois

Post Number: 158
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, April 20, 2007 - 11:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Off of McNichols the buildings in Palmer Park are mostly intact. Your friend hasn't been in there much. They could use some restoration, but they are inhabited and not burned. The south side of McNichols is pretty bad, most are burned homes, and they are all in Highland Park, which is pretty much defunct. Most of the buildings in Lowell's apartment ruins are in the Dexter Linwood area, I belive. As for removing the buildings costs are high and in order to make the land viable the foundations should be removed to make redevelopment easier, which increases the cost. It's a tricky feat.

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