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These are zombies aren't in Detroit Zombie Town, but they look just like it.

Abandoned factory
Abandoned buildings on Japan's Hashima Island
C&H Sugar factory across the Carquinez Straits from Vallejo, CA

Detroit can't get anyone to live next door to it's abandoned buildings. You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd as the saying goes. Why can't these zombie buildings be condemned, razed and the land given to anyone with a great idea? Why can't we use the stones in the old buildings to build new buildings?

These abandoned buildings are anchors on the prosperity of Detroit. Detroit will never break even as long as these structures are allowed to stand.

Is Detroit being stabbed in the back by billionaire land owners letting their abandoned buildings choke the life out of the city while they divvy up the goodies in the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum?

Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:28 AM PT: Update:  Too bad all the people stocking up on guns and ammo to fight zombies, can't actually fight the zombie buildings of Detroit where it really matters, Not just some feverish nightmare excuse to buy guns.

Detroit needs guns is now the new NRA coward yell.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)
  •  Why didn't you get some pictures (5+ / 0-)

    from Detroit?

  •  or "The Ruins of Detroit" (Steidl, 2011) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward, LordMike

    by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre. Some of their pictures are on the Weather Channel website -- look up Detroit then scroll down the page until you see the pix of abandoned buildings.

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

    by fourthcornerman on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:16:14 PM PDT

  •  Sorry to say it but I'd rather (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, LakeSuperior, JeffW

    see no improvement than to see people come in and enjoy the 'New Detroit", without improving quality of life for the residents that have been here all along.
    The city is being revived while the workers are eliminated, unions are busted, schools districts are failing and democracy is being hijacked.

    •  My point was that it can't be done without (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      razing the zombie buildings. Couldn't Detroit get disaster relief for that? It wasn't a fast disaster but it left more damage than many speedy disasters.

      I would like to see more discussion on that end of things.

      give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

      by 88kathy on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:39:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are doing a huge blight removal project (6+ / 0-)

        in Brightmoor, one of the worst areas of the city.
        Pulte homes is heading up the project. The work was funded by private funds. Now they are going to apply for millions in federal funds and are gonna make cash. Meanwhile, a group called Motor City Blight busters has been struggling along for fifteen years in that area with little funding and a huge volunteer base. They won't be getting rich or be given the ability to hire.
        Pulte made millions building homes, encouraging sprawl that started the depopulation of the city, moved their headquarters out of Michigan, and are coming back on the tail end to make even more.
        How's that right? Until policy and practice provide income generation for the people that have been here, you can keep it.

        •  There was an old geezer in Seattle that owned (0+ / 0-)

          multiple buildings and just let them go to seed. He wouldn't let anyone else have them and wouldn't do anything with them.

          I don't understand how that can be done to a city.

          I hope Detroit gets fixed. And I agree with you the residents of Detroit come first.

          give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

          by 88kathy on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:10:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It costs money to raise buildings. Where will it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MGross, Mother Shipper

    come from? Also, the city needs to own them first and that can get complicated.

    •  The owners. And we kicked in for Sandy. This is (0+ / 0-)

      just a little slower but the same devastation.  

      That is what I don't understand - how someone can leave a mess like that. If I went around littering with abandon, I think I would be in a fair amount of trouble.

      give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

      by 88kathy on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:13:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt you can force owners to contribute in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        88kathy

        most cases since many buildings are worth next to nothing. Taking them over via eminent domain is always an option. As others are saying, it is being done to some extent.

      •  Good luck getting the owners to contribute... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        88kathy

        There are literally thousands of working class suburbanites who spent a little cash (under $1k) getting somewhat substantial Detroit real estate portfolios in the 80s, whose entire retirement plan is "wait until the City turns around and become a millionaire."

        They don't have money. If they had money they wouldn't be investing in useless Detroit Real Estate.

        You might be able to get the City to seize the property, but a) the Courts really REALLY hate taking things from large groups of white people, and b) then the City (which has no money) has to fund the demolition itself.

        •  The Baining of Detroit is our only choice? (0+ / 0-)

          They are now going to take the remaining assets and retirement savings?

          Please say it isn't so.

          give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

          by 88kathy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:24:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not the ONLY choice... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            88kathy

            It's just the only one with a realistic shot at happening in the next couple months.

            A bail-out would have to get through a) the GOP House in DC or b) the GOP House/Senate in Lansing. b) would be really hard even if the Dems ran everything because because any bail-out would have to be at least $15 Billion, probably more like $20-25 Billion, and the entire state budget is under $50 Billion.

            Taxes are incredibly high in Detroit already. They aren't high by national, big-city standards, but they are at the statutory maximums under Michigan law.

            Coleman solved a similar revenue problem in the early 80s by getting a State Constitutional Amendment legalizing municipal income tax, but that strategy takes a really savvy politician as mayor and years of preparation. Dave Bing is actually a decent manager, but his political skills suck, or he would have been lobbying for bankruptcy/tax increases years ago.

            Which means you have to get really creative to solve the problem. Cutting up the City into 8-9 sub-cities would probably get the problem out of the News, because Downtown would keep the Detroit name and Downtown has a great tax base. But the only other areas that are viable are on the Southwest side, so it's likely you'd end up with 4-5 big Highland Park. And Highland Park was without a police force from 2001-2007 because it had no money.

            I'm not saying bankruptcy will work. It will screw pensioners, which (depending on where they live) might deprive the City of a bunch of useful residents. OTOH, it will also allow the City to hire some fucking police, which could (in theory) create enough public safety to encourage people to move into the City. I think its unlikely to be successful (I'd give it 33% odds, at best), but it is possible to try, and it just might work, which means it's roughly 900 quadrillion zillion million times better then any other idea I've heard.

            Basically, IMO the only long-term solution would be to abolish most of the suburbs, and Detroit itself. There just isn't enough tax base in Detroit to keep crime down, which means that as soon as anyone gets enough income to increase the tax base they move out. Bankruptcy might interrupt the death spiral, but it'll be tight.

            •  So declaring Detroit a disaster area would be (0+ / 0-)

              completely out of the question?

              I think dipping into retirement savings, the Bain way, will weaken the city even more.

              Maybe Detroit is gone and now we will be forced to watch them pick the carcass clean.

              give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

              by 88kathy on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:31:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What would the disaster be? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                88kathy

                Nobody has died directly from Detroit being too poor to pay for it's governance. Plenty have died indirectly as a result of a decaying Fire Department and no police protection; but it's not like a tornado where you can list a dozen or so people who died just because they happened to be in precisely the wrong place at precisely the wrong time.

                So if Obama declared a disaster there'd be hell to pay with the GOP House, which could easily lead to future disaster appropriations being cut; or in an even worse-case scenario would lead to a government shutdown and/or impeachment.

                Besides for a disaster to be declared Snyder would have to request it, which would mean Snyder would have to publicly admit this whole Emergency Manager thing was incredibly stupid.

                •  I admit it is a slow disaster. I am sure we could (0+ / 0-)

                  think of some guidelines. No the GOP is creaming over divvying up the assets they aren't interested is saving any American city. They want the pile of retirement savings and the accumulated arts. Why there isn't hell to pay from the Democrats over that nonsense I'll never know.

                  If I could remove a building every time I was told our troops were in Iraq to build schools, Detroit would be as shiny as a new dime. And there would still me money in the treasury and way less soldiers would be dead. Way less Iraqi dead.

                  We need to take care of ourselves.

                  give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

                  by 88kathy on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 10:25:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  As a historian, I hate to see the old ruins go... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, unfangus

    There's something artistic about it as well, but as an economist, too, I agree... they have to go or be renovated.  You can start with Michigan Central Station.  It's a beautiful old building, and I'm sure Hollywood would love to make movies in it.  It's got to go.  It's a giant, burned out hulk that greets everyone to the city and sets the tone for the blight.

    Interesting that they had no probelms getting rid of the one GOOD abandoned building there--Tiger Stadium.  I'm sad just thinking about it!

    GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

    by LordMike on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:55:23 PM PDT

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