Category Archives: Detroit Ghetto News

Detroit Street Lights

Detroit May Shut Off Half Of It’s Street Lights To Save Money

The city of Detroit has 88,000 street lights, of which around 40% are broken. The decision to trim down it’s street lights to 46k units isn’t final yet, but Mayor Bing says it could save the city up to $10 Million a year in maintenance costs alone. The savings would come by using contractors to maintain the lights instead of salaried employees of the city. However, this plan is contingent upon borrowing $160 Million to upgrade the current street lights as well. How bad are the lights? Check out this picture I took on Michigan Ave back in 2009:

Detroit street lights

The city has made it clear that it does not want to light up distressed areas. Some neighborhoods are only 10-15% occupied, and therefore are not economically viable to provide the same level of services that more populated areas receive.

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Detroit’s Packard Plant Set To Be Demolished

Taken from the Detroit News:

The purported owner of the Packard Plant says he is days away from starting to barricade and fence off the 3.5-million-square-foot eyesore as a part of his plan to demolish one of the city’s most iconic ruins.

Dominic Cristini said Thursday he has hired a demolition firm and plans on applying for permits in the next several days to secure the sprawling, dilapidated plant on East Grand Boulevard near Concord. Cristini, who claims he’s the sole owner through his company, Bioresource, said he wants to start the demolition process within a month.

“I am going to demolish the building,” Cristini said. “It’s unsafe, and it’s got to come down. I don’t want anybody to get hurt. I am just trying to do the right and responsible thing.”

He estimates it will cost $6 million to raze the Albert Kahn-designed plant built by the luxury automaker that went out of business in 1958, adding that recovered scrap metal will offset the cost.

A small crew from AVC Services based in Harrison Township was onsite Thursday, assessing ways to cut it off from the constant stream of scavengers, homeless and artists who have made it a popular underground site for years.

“We are going to see if it is possible to secure it,” Antonio Carlomusto of AVC said Thursday.

Cristini said they may try to save portions of the plant for historical value but isn’t sure whether that is possible.

Detroit officials said Thursday the plant has already gone through demolition hearings and was ordered down in April 2011.

packard plant ruins

“We have always been willing to work with the property owners to bring their property into compliance,” said Karla Henderson, Mayor Dave Bing’s Group Executive of Planning and Facilities. “We support their efforts.”

The facility is one of Detroit’s most well-known ruins and for nearly 15 years went through an often-bizarre legal battle over ownership between the city and Bioresource. About four years ago, the Michigan Supreme Court put the property back in Bioresource’s hands. Records have showed real estate investor Romel Casab as the company president, but Cristini said Thursday he is the only owner.

Cristini, who was released from federal prison in 2010 after serving a four-year drug sentence, said he has been working with city officials to pave the way for the demolition.

The city has a tax lien on the property for at least $300,000. Many of the parcels showed tens of thousands are owed in unpaid property taxes as of earlier this year. Some parcelsare facing foreclosure this fall.

The sprawling plant has been ravaged by time, the elements and scavengers, but it continues to attract admirers.

“In a sick way, it’s incredibly beautiful,” freelance photographer Casey Carlton said Thursday as she explored the edges of Packard.

Related Images:

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LaWanda Flake

Detroit Mother Of Six Trades $96k House For Used Minivan

LaWanda Flake, a 36-year-old, disabled mother of six traded in her four-bedroom, three-bath house, located in one of the city’s better neighborhoods and valued at $96,000 for a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander with 85,000 miles, valued at between $5000 and $8,500.

“I had a lot of good offers, some from out of state. It turned out I took one of the first offers I got because I felt like it helped us both,” Flake told the Detroit News. “They needed the house more than anyone I spoke with. They kept telling me it was a blessing to them. I really feel like I made a good decision.”

Flake said she posted the house offer on Craigslist because she needed a new car in order to get her children to school on time because the city’s bus system was proving unreliable. Flake has an irregularly updated Twitter account, where you can see some of her complaints about the bus system.

Now, there are a couple of details that make this story far less crazy than it sounds at first. Number one, Flake and her six children are not living in the minivan. They’ve relocated to a three-bedroom home nearby that she was able to purchase on a $4,000 land contract.

And even though the house was once home to Diana Ross and the Supremes, Flake purchased it last year at a foreclosure sale for $3,600, not its near six-figure retail value. The house reportedly has several thousand dollars worth of necessary repairs waiting for the new owners, including a new furnace and water heater.

The family who purchased Flake’s home has decided to stay anonymous for now. Flake agreed to not mention their names in the story, but she did note that she received several more lucrative offers for her home, including a Montana couple who offered Flake her choice of one of their four vehicles. And a man who recently moved back to Detroit from Las Vegas offered in trade his 1996 Bentley Brooklands luxury sedan, valued at about $20,000. A third trade offer was for a 1996 Corvette.

LaWanda Flake“I said, Oh wow! What am I going to do with a Corvette? I can’t do anything practical with a Corvette,” Flake said.

Of course, with the current state of property values in Detroit, it sounds like Flake could have traded in one of those cars for another two or three houses.

Story originally posted by yahoo… http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/mother-six-trades-98k-house-used-minivan-152424777.html

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Detroit On The Verge Of Bankruptcy

The city of Detroit has found itself in a $200M+ hole. The city has reported that it will literally “run out of money” in 2012. Watch the video to see mayor Bing’s plan to save the city, which essentially is to cut wages and raise taxes. Not really giving the people more reason to stay, huh?

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