DETROIT – Residents on Detroit's east side were fighting to keep 12 acres of city land from being sold off to a developer. The city council held a critical vote and decided to make the sale.
The Lodge Playfield is along the Detroit-Hamtramck border. Many people believe jobs are the best path to revitalization for the community, but others would like to see the land turned into a park.
The land is next to Flex-N-Gate and the city hopes to add another auto supplier, but there are no interested parties yet.
"We want to put this into surplus to give the city the opportunity to actually start marketing this property to bring additional jobs to that site," city Councilmember Scott Benson said.
Residents went to city hall Tuesday, angry with the decision. They hoped to have the decision either moved, delayed, shelved or not taken at all.
"This 12-acre site has the room for tennis courts, basketball, and none of the postage stamp parks like Nodell can do that. So what we see going on is a stripping of assets in this area's schools and playfields," Russ Beland of We Care Detroit said.
"We're all for being the I-94 industry zone but in order to have a zone and in order to have a community put these people to work, you have to have a community. They tore down all the parks to build these plants and the kids have nowhere to go," resident Angela Tanksley said.
Despite the outrage from residents, city council voted 5-2 to put the property into surplus.