New owner gives Detroit residents short eviction notice

Some residents said it could leave them homeless by next month

Author: Will Jones, Local 4 Reporter, @Local4Will, wjones@wdiv.com
Published On: Apr 23 2013 05:39:56 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 23 2013 05:59:47 PM EDT
DETROIT -

The people who live in the three apartment buildings along Henry Street are on fixed incomes. They say 30 days is not enough time to find a new place to live.

Some say they are afraid of becoming homeless by this time next month.

Residents of Bretton Hall, Claridge Manor and Berwyn apartments -- on Henry Street between Cass Avenue and Second Street -- found out Friday that their buildings are being sold and the new owner wants them out by May 20.

"It really shocked me because I wasn't planning on moving out of there. I've been there 19 years," said resident Horace Strickland.

The owner, Peter Mercier, sent residents a hand-written letter apologizing for the short notice. He says he signed an option to sell the property a year ago. The option was exercised and Mercier was given 60-days notice to close. He says he asked for more time but that request was denied.

"They knew on letter a year ago that they were selling these building and they just told us 30 days before we have to be out. I that's wrong," said resident Sharon Calimeri.

Not much is known about the new owner. The buildings are expected to be torn down. The mystery is what will go in their place.

Some suspect this could be the new home for the Detroit Red Wings.

The people on the block say they like to see progress but all they want is more time.

"It's kind of hurtful because were not going to have a place to live that suddenly," said resident Javier Alonso.

"Give us a little bit more time or help us find a place," said resident Michelle Smith.

Residents met Sunday to discuss their options. Another meeting is planned for this coming Sunday afternoon.

"The city is trying to come back up, that's fine, but to just kick someone out on the street?" said resident Jessie Thomas