DETROIT – Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Garlin Gilchrist II is committing to finish renovating an unoccupied, blighted apartment building he owns in Detroit after nearby residents complained to an online news outlet.
Deadline Detroit reported Friday the building has no back door and the littered yard has an unfilled sewage trench.
Gilchrist, Gretchen Whitmer's running mate, bought the property from the Detroit Land Bank for $13,500 as part of a discount for city employees. Gilchrist worked for Detroit from 2014 to 2017.
Gilchrist wrote it has been a struggle securing a loan to rehabilitate the property, partly due to his runs for office. He says he "exhausted my personal resources" to demolish the interior and do other work, but the building "is not in the state that I want it to be."
Detroit Land Bank Authority public information officer Alyssa Strickland issued the following statement in response:
Mr. Gilchrist purchased 253 Marston through a Detroit Land Bank Authority Auction in August 2016. The Detroit Land Bank Authority is actively monitoring Mr. Gilchrist’s progress at 253 Marston in accordance with the DLBA’s compliance program. The Detroit Land Bank Authority has continued to work with Mr. Gilchrist based on several factors, including the unusual size and scope of the project-253 Marston is an eight-unit dwelling in need of significant financing, whereas most structures sold by the Detroit Land Bank Authority are single-family homes. Additionally, the Detroit Land Bank Authority granted Mr. Gilchrist an extension based on direct contact with lenders who provided evidence that financing was forthcoming, evidence of considerable investment at the property, and ongoing communication. The Detroit Land Bank Authority finds the current condition of the exterior of 253 Marston to be unacceptable, and on Thursday, October 11th, 2018 Mr. Gilchrist was given until Monday, October 15th, 2018 to provide proof that the exterior of the property is clean and secure. The Detroit Land Bank Authority has previously issued multiple warnings to Mr. Gilchrist regarding non-compliance. If Mr. Gilchrist fails to provide the requested evidence of clean-up at his property, the Detroit Land Bank Authority will issue a notice of reconveyance.