Dangerous former pizza place building torn down on Detroit's east side

Papa's Pizza building ravaged by fire 3 years ago

DETROIT – An eyesore and a potential danger was eliminated Tuesday when a building on Detroit's east side was torn down.

It used to be a pizza place, but it became a nuisance to a Detroit neighborhood. Now neighbors are celebrating its demolition.

Residents said they complained about the pizza place for three years before it was torn down.

"I had to look at it every day," Ronald Jacobs said. "I come home every day. I leave. I have to look at this place."

Jacobs said the Papa's Pizza building has been an eyesore since a fire ravaged it three years ago.

"A fire that was set by somebody deliberately," Jacobs said.

He said the smell of rotting meat filled the air, and the pizza place became a dumping site.

"It looked bad enough like it already was, but to bring extra garbage and dump it here, it just got worse and worse," Jacobs said.

Yarnell Cobbs' Cloud 9 barbershop is along Van Dyke, so he's also glad to see Papa's Pizza go, though he said he misses the pizza.

"That building has been there for years. (It's) raggedy. I'm glad it's gone. It looked very dangerous," Cobbs said. "It's a beautiful thing it's gone, but I would love the pizza place to come back."

Erin Harris, of the mayor's office, said Papa's Pizza was a priority because of the location.

"The mayor recognized in this business area we want to try to get as many structures down as possible," Harris said.

Jacobs hopes to see more buildings come down.

"This is truly a blessing to see this place finally come down," Jacobs said.

About the Authors: