Brick + Beam Detroit

Stopping the city from demolishing my building

Asked by David Henry King at 8:27pm on Apr 3 2018

I purchased a building (in decent structural shape, but definitely rough) with the intent of renovating it slowly, over time. However, unknown to me the building was on a list of properties that the city wanted to demolish.

I have had the property inspected and received a notice that the inspection revealed that it was 'secured and appears to be sound and repairable'

However, the city is now demanding that I finish the rehab within three months - something that's completely out of the realm of financial possibility.

Rather than get my building removed from the demolition list, I now seem to have a 'deferral', but this just seems to be a way for the city to force me to pay for permits I don't need in order to save my house. What can I do? Have other people in B&B had a similar issue with the city?



at 11:17am on May 23 2018

Hi David,
I don't have an answer but I can offer to help...

If I understand correctly, the problem is that you still have a long time to go with renovating the house. If you can't get the property permanently removed from the demolition list, just deferred for short amounts of time, the constant uncertainty over the status of the building and need to keep renewing permits is going to be very stressful and expensive as you continue to work on the house.

I'm an architect in Detroit and have been meeting with some people in the Land Bank, BSEED, and other private organizations to get my head around how all of these agencies work together. Generally, the message I have gotten is that if owners are making a good faith effort to continue to improve the property these agencies do not want to penalize them.

If you would like to contact me I would be happy to discuss this with you in more detail, share some of the contacts I have made, and see what is achievable as a best case scenario for you. I imagine it would be some combination of getting the house permanently off the demolition list, and securing a long term construction permit that you can work under in comfort for a while.

Hopefully we can figure some kind of solution out and then post it back to this thread to help other people.

Take care
[email protected]

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