DETROIT - Where in the city of Detroit can you see for six blocks straight without a building in sight?
Since Monday, bulldozers have been busy clearing brush and crumbling homes in the area once known as "black bottom" Detroit near Eastern Market. The spot has gone from blight to vacant land.
Bill Gierman, president of Germack, has been watching the demolitions from his office adjacent to the newly excavated property.
"I can only recall three or four homes left standing," he said. "There were quite a few trees and the brush was really high. I don't know what they're doing, frankly. I have no idea."
That is the million-dollar question: What are they doing?
The land stretches six blocks between St. Aubin and Chene streets just south of Mack Avenue and north of Watson Street. The construction crew would only say their work is for safety reasons. However, one source speculates this could be the home of new lofts, while others in the area thought maybe the schools in the neighborhood were expanding. Local 4 cleared up that rumor with Superintendent Ralph Bland. Local 4 asked him if he was building a school in the area.
"Uh, no. I'm not building a school across the street," Bland said.
If the project doesn't belong to the school, does it belong to the city? This past June, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing pledged to demolish 10,000 abandoned homes in the city by the end of this year.
"We own a few lofts across the street, but not that many. We don't really know who owns the other lots. I didn't think the city owned any because the lofts that we bought were owned by the city and those were the only ones available at the time," said Gierman.
Anthony Neely, a spokesman for the mayor's office, said he has no comment and is remaining silent on the demolition project.
The land stretches six blocks between St. Aubin and Chene streets just south of Mack Avenue and north of Watson Street.
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