Evictions canceled at historic building in Downtown Detroit

Residents of Park Avenue House now have months to find new place to live

By Priya Mann - Reporter

DETROIT - It's a big win for people evicted from an historic Detroit building.

Residents of the Park Avenue House no longer have to be out in days. They now have months to find a new place to live.

Along Woodward Avenue sits one of the most lucrative and noticeable new additions Downtown, and this historic building is prime real estate.

After weeks of uncertainty and facing eviction, residents got some answers.

"They had a letter in my mailbox this morning, said that they'd cancel the eviction notice and I can stay," said Robert Hunt, who faced eviction.

Last month, low-income long-term residents were told they had 30 days to leave Park Avenue House. On Sunday, they learned about a new deal between the current owner and the new buyer.

Residents will now be able to stay until June 30 of next year.

"I've been tired and wore out for about a week now," Hunt said. "I can finally get a good night's sleep."

The buyer is a Troy-based company, and the city worked with the owner to rescind the eviction notices.

"Mayor (Mike) Duggan worked real hard," Hunt said. "His crew did a real good job."

Hunt has lived at Park Avenue House for seven years and relies on affordable housing to live in downtown Detroit. While the city is making a comeback, he sees the writing on the wall.

"We're kind of forgotten. They're kind of left behind on the redevelopment," Hunt said.

The sale of the 13-story, 180-unit building is expected to be completed in January, with renovations beginning in the fall.

The city and local nonprofits said they will work with residents to help find new housing.

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