Crews demolish vacant eyesore next to Detroit’s Richard Allen Nardin Park

DETROIT – A vacant apartment complex is finally being demolished after being an eyesore next to a Detroit park.

There is a beautiful park on Detroit’s west side known as the Richard Allen Nardin park along Grand River Avenue, but right next door, there’s a vacant apartment complex that can no longer be restored, and it’s just been sitting here for years, causing danger to this community.

“You need to understand I grew up in this neighborhood. So I can remember when the building was occupied. The building on the other side. I remember this community is vibrant, and so many things were happening,” said Pastor Mickarl Thomas of Ebenezer AME Church.

The pastor of Ebenezer AME Church across the park said those days are long gone, and this apartment building has just been a blight in his community for well over a decade.

“And so I’m happy to see the building come down because No. 1 it’s dangerous,” said Thomas. “No. 2, it’s an eyesore. No. 3, of the people in the community, deserve to have some hope and to have a vision of a positive growing vibrant neighborhood.”

The building, which was built in 1924, was too damaged to restore. That’s why the city made the decision to tear it down - something they’re working to do with hundreds of abandoned buildings around Detroit.

“Some of these properties have been long-standing for decades. Now is the time, the funding is in place,” said Director of the Detroit Demolition Department LaJuan Counts.

The cost isn’t cheap. Count said the cost is about $990,000 for just this building. But once it’s gone, the eyesore no longer there will benefit this community.

“Now it’s an opportunity for growth, whether it’s for development where another structure could come in or green space,” said Counts.

“We want to be able to have pride in our neighborhood,” said Thomas. “Just like the business people have pride in downtown. And you can boast of your neighborhood when you look at something like that. It’s right there. It’s not good.”

The demotion will be fully complete by early next week.

About the Authors:

You can watch Kim on the morning newscast weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., and frequently doing reports on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.