Detroit cracks down on commercial blight at major corridors

City has issued more than 4,900 blight tickets on 14 major corridors since October

This unfinished megachurch seen in the video player above sat empty along Woodward Avenue in Detroit, not far from the Ferndale Border for close to two decades. Now there’s a renewed push to get work started back up on what’s turned out to be a vacant eyesore.

DETROIT – For close to two decades, an unfinished mega-church sat empty along Woodward Avenue in Detroit, not far from the Ferndale border. Now there’s a renewed push to get work started back up on what’s turned out to be a vacant eyesore.

That push is coming from the city of Detroit. After hiring about 40 inspectors, enforcement is going up and the city is cracking down on commercial coding violations and blight on major corridors, including Woodward Avenue.

Church officials said the project will be completed within 18 months.

“We who live in this community and live in the city of Detroit would be happy to see it finally open,” said Jamon Jordan, of Black Scroll Network History and Tours,.

Jordan said the site has become memorable because of its long-standing construction.

“When I do tours, there are people who have left Detroit decades ago and come back and see this site and say, ‘Hey, I remember this. This hasn’t been done yet,’” Jordan said.

He said, at one point, the unfinished project was a sign of hope to the community.

“This had been a historic neighborhood, Chaldean Town, and many of the Chaldean businesses and the Chaldean residents have moved out,” Jordan said. “Many of the homes have been destroyed. So we looked at this as something that could be a beacon light to create new development in this neighborhood.”

The city of Detroit wants to restore that hope with its commercial corridor blight enforcement.

“Once we identify those properties, we issue a correction order,” said Jessica Parker, chief enforcing officer of Detroit’s building department. “That correction order gives the property owner 14 days to remediate the blight. If we do not hear from them, if the blight is not removed we then move to issuing a ticket.”

In a statement to Local 4, Katrina Crawley, assistant director of blight remediation for the General Services Department, said:

Perfecting Church told Local 4 it met with the city about two weeks ago and expects the project will be finished within 18 months.

“It’s not just Perfecting, we have other churches that we are bringing into compliance,” Parker said. “We understand that some projects cost more than others, not only to remove the blight, but to finish up major construction projects. Communication is so important.”

They plan to meet with Perfecting Church again in March.

Since October 2021, Detroit has issued 4,943 blight tickets on the 14 major corridors.


About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.