Emergency demolition ordered for partially collapsed building in Detroit’s Eastern Market

DETROIT – Officials with the city of Detroit have ordered an emergency demolition for a partially collapsed building in Eastern Market.

The partial collapse happened just before noon, Saturday, Sept. 16, and the building looks like it could collapse at any moment.

It’s not easy for Tommey Walker Jr. to look at the location of his business, Detroit VS. Everybody, knowing it will eventually crumble in a matter of time.

“I can’t even go into the store right now and we’ve been investing tens of thousands into this,” Walker said. “I have two bricks over here that I’m taking in remembrance of my first location. But, I thank God for the opportunity to have this space.”

The same devastation is felt by the owner of Jabs Gym, Armond Harris, who can see the inside of the gym from the outside of the building.

“I’m devastated. We just got out of COVID and now we have to deal with the building collapsing,” Harris said. “It’s tough.”

Both can’t believe the products of their hard work will soon be a memory. Both can’t help but question why it’s happening to begin with.

“There’s no real answers. Just some type of structural damage,” Harris said. “Which, what does that mean?”

The building literally started falling apart Saturday morning. One brick fell from the top of the building and injured a person walking below.

“I’m grateful my staff and my whole team got out,” Harris said.

“To see that rubble and understand that nobody was hurt? We have so much to be grateful and thankful about,” Walker said.

It’s uncertain what will happen next, but both business owners are hoping to rebuild elsewhere.

“I just picked up a brick over there and just pick up the pieces right and try to figure it out,” Harris said. “So hopefully we can recreate it.”

“I’m going to use it as an opportunity to show what Detroit’s about and that’s resilience,” Walker said.

The city says the demolition of the building will happen in a day or two, if it lasts until then.

The area remains taped off and people are urged to stay away.

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.