Detroit church members want building next to church torn down

Members of New Order Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit worry about building

DETROIT – Members of New Order Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit worry about the building next to their church.

"It's just a mess, and it's dangerous," said Deacon Moses McNeal. "It makes me feel bad, awful, and because I am an administrator here, I feel somewhat responsible if anything should happen over there."

The building has several broken windows, graffiti and trash dumped all around it.

"It's hazardous, a place where crime and drugs can be infested, and I think it needs to be torn down," church member Leroy Arterbridge said.

"We have kids running around here and we don't know what's in that building because we don't know if someone (is) hiding in there or not," said church member William Lamb.

McNeal said they were told that the city would tear down the building, and they wonder why it is still standing. They called the Local 4 Defenders for answers.

Local 4 pulled court documents and discovered that the city sued the property owner Paris McCurdy and the building was declared a "public nuisance" last May.

McCurdy had 10 days to clean up the property or the city would be "entitled to immediately proceed with the demolition."

The city of Detroit told Local 4: "This property is in the pipeline for demo but not yet contracted. That will take place after all of the environmental assessments have been conducted."

The environmental tests are important because with older commercial buildings, ground and other forms of contamination are frequently found. The Detroit Building Authority hopes to have the environmental assessment process done by the end of the year, then the bidding and contracting process can start.

That would tentatively target demolition of the building for next spring, depending on the results of the environmental assessment and whether remediation needs to be done before demolition.

Members of New Order Missionary Baptist Church said they were happy to hear that the building will be demolished.

About the Author: