Detroit Urged to Tear Down 40,000 Buildings

Monica Davey, New York Times, May 27, 2014

A task force convened by the Obama administration issued the most detailed study yet of blight in Detroit on Tuesday and recommended that the city spend at least $850 million to quickly tear down about 40,000 dilapidated buildings, demolish or restore tens of thousands more, and clear thousands of trash-packed lots.

It also said that the hulking remains of factories that dot Detroit, crumbling reminders of the city’s manufacturing prowess, must be salvaged or demolished, which could cost as much as $1 billion more.

If carried out, the recommendations by the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force would drastically alter the face of the nation’s largest bankrupt city. They would also cost significantly more than the approximately $450 million that the city already plans to spend on blight, raising questions about the feasibility of the vast cleanup effort, which is part of its larger campaign to emerge from bankruptcy by fall and begin remaking itself.


The blight study, which is perhaps the most elaborate survey of decay conducted in any large America city, found that 30 percent of buildings, or 78,506 of them, scattered across the city’s 139 square miles, are dilapidated or heading that way. It found that 114,000 parcels–about 30 percent of the city’s total–are vacant. And it found that more than 90 percent of publicly held parcels are blighted.

All in all, the report provides a remarkably gloomy, block-by-block portrait of the hollowed-out city’s misery and a virtual record of how Detroit’s population, once 1.8 million, has fallen to fewer than half that.


Using state law as a starting point, the authors defined blighted lots in a number of ways, including properties that are no longer structurally sound, have been damaged by fires, or become neighborhood dumping grounds. Hundreds of workers spent months driving around the streets here, observing and photographing the city’s approximately 377,000 parcels and feeding that detailed information into what is now, in essence, a complete computerized census of its buildings and lots.


Kevyn D. Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, said that the city’s problem with blighted buildings had mounted since the Great Depression, despite being the subject of multiple studies by previous city administrations. The current report, which has the backing of federal, state and local officials, was finally a detailed and unified answer, Mr. Orr said. “This is an unprecedented time and an unprecedented day,” he said. “Here we are, 83 years later, with the tools to address it.”

Still, the challenges ahead are enormous. A tangle of rules can make it difficult to even secure run-down buildings so they can be torn down or fixed up. Actually demolishing a building is time consuming, too, particularly at such a scale. And while the city has plans for how to pay for about $450 million of what is needed, including some already dedicated federal funds, much of that still needs federal court approval as part of the bankruptcy process.

Another $400 million–and perhaps more for the industrial sites–could be sought later from foundations, private donors and the government, officials here said.

“This money will come,” Mr. Gilbert said.

But officials acknowledged that they currently have no particular plan for securing so much money in such a short time, particularly given all of Detroit’s other looming needs, such as improved police services and firefighting equipment.


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  • Alexandra1973

    Just let the locals have at it on Devil’s Night.

    • Triarius

      Also Jewish lightning.

    • Linda Gerald

      I say tear everything down, let it return to nature, and make it a national park. Then you won’t have to worry about blacks coming back.

  • Anglokraut

    A five-man Sapper crew could take care of this in a weekend.

  • Herman

    The whole problem is blacks destroy one town.

    Then they move on to the next.

    • propagandaoftruth

      You know, as good as they are at destruction, if you told them to destroy it they’d clean it up out of spite…

      Then destroy it again.

      How about the cleansing nature of fire? Burn baby burn!

    • APaige

      And they can not even do that ‘job’ right, if the city has to spend $850 million to tear down what they destroyed.

      • r j p

        If cities didn’t confiscate wasn’t rightfully theirs via tax liens, they wouldn’t have this problem.

    • MooTieFighter

      Parasites. It would be so much easier on all of us if they did not need us to survive, they will follow us, no matter where we go.

      • ejXinMI

        Sad but true… or just pathetic.

  • Whitetrashgang

    Half of all blacks are on welfare so get them to do it for free.It really is a chance for these people to do something positive, so of course it will not happen.

    • me

      Just put a fence around Detroit and call it a National, open-air zoo. The pavement ape in its natural, self-created environment.

  • They could either use that money to raze 40,000 buildings, or better yet exile 600,000 people.

    • ejXinMI

      Spend that money bolstering Liberia, and subsidize one-way tickets to it– especially for younger negroes. Let the older ones just die out.

  • Dr. Tywon Poe

    I’m sure the feds will pick up the tab, which means the producers of this country will once again be giving the takers a free ride.

    • Georgia Boy

      It’s a back-door bailout. Obama wants to use this as the pretext to start pumping federal money into the city, because he knows tearing down the buildings is the thing Americans who don’t live in MI want to see done. So he orders a study, gets liberal media friends to run photo essays and yak yak about it like it’s not a local problem, till they get enough support from the sheeple to start spending. Then Detroit City Council starts shifting the budget … Oh, Washington is paying for the demolitions, that frees up money to spend on giving these other contracts to our friends. Then it’s, we need these other infrastructure improvements to bring water and power to these buildings that were renovated, you don’t want to waste the money you already spent, do you? And more buildings are being abandoned all the time too. So expect scandals where the locally hired demolition crews are paying local thugs under the table to blight/burn empty buildings to keep more money rolling in. Even if we tore all the blighted buildings down, it would be back to the same thing in a couple of years.

      • Guess who will be paid to demolish 40,000 buildings: the same race of “people” who have already demolished the rest of Detroit. Government work is really just another form of “Gibsmedat”.

        • Alexandra1973

          Yep, just pointless “make work” jobs. Either way taxpayers are supporting them.

  • sbuffalonative

    If blacks return after new homes are built, will it be worth the effort?

    I say tear everything down, let it return to nature, and make it a national park. Then you won’t have to worry about blacks coming back.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      But that means the blacks would just go somewhere else and ruin some other city. I say we raze the old buildings to the ground and give the blacks a lifetime supply of grape drank, waddymelon and fried chicken in exchange for one-way tickets to Liberia.

      • Kalashnikov

        They already are. Cities as far north as Port Huron have had a steady influx for years. They have gang shootings up there now, and revenge shootings. And of course more and more white girls (or grandparents) walking around with brown babies.

        • They spread like a cancer, just like the illegal alien gangs who have shown up as far as Duluth MN!

    • Dave West

      Just tear the entire city down and allow blacks to build authentic African mud huts, at least they don’t burn down as easily!

  • Frank_DeScushin

    The full headline should read: “Detroit Urged to Tear Down 40,000 Buildings Built by Whites, Destroyed by Blacks”

    • Detroit . .” Housing Today for Tomorrow”

      • The New Pruitt-Igoe?

        • I’ve always marveled at this style of building, as dwellings are so close together that a person could easily slip into and out of
          one dwelling to another on their way to a commode . . .wherever that may be ..

  • JackKrak

    Oh, come on – don’t towns all over Montana, Vermont and Utah have to knock down thousands of buildings from time to time because the locals destroyed them?

  • JohnEngelman

    Some of those buildings are Victorian mansions. If they could clear out the trash (human and otherwise) and restore them, they would be worth living in.

    • LHathaway

      At some point it makes more sense to tear them down and build new homes, which we pay for, of course. In my city, much of the property is section 8 and government housing. The entire city has become a project. The city is even buying up substantial numbers of dwellings outside the city boundaries in the outlying ‘suburbs’ for use as government subsidized housing. Perhaps the whole state will be more or less a giant project at some point.

      • r j p

        The city is even buying up substantial numbers of dwellings outside the city boundaries in the outlying ‘suburbs’ for use as government subsidized housing.
        Watch that. The city may be using that as a tactic to incorporate “suburban”areas into the city to increase the tax base.

    • brianreilly

      John, Why, yes! some of those buildings were fine homes, and could be again. So, first you have to find out who owns it and arrange to purchase it with clear title. Then the fun begins. Secure the site, remove trash and whatever demolition you have to do preparatory to renovation/re construction. Get permits! Find craftsmen to restore artisanal-grade plaster, tile, and woodwork. Purchase custom everything. Re-plumb and re-wire it from top to bottom. Spend every minute in the home with a Rottweiler and a 12 guage to keep the scrappers out. Get the project all finished, at great expense.

      You will have a beautiful home, in a virtual war-zone, worth nowhere near what it cost you to make it beautiful. The streetlights will not work reliably, the street will be a moonscape, there will be criminals all about you (I am talking about the city officials, not your neighbors) and if you want to sell, you will get 1/5 the cost of your renovation for it

      Worth living in? Try it once, and write back about your experience.

    • Alexandra1973

      It is just depressing to drive through Detroit and see those once-nice houses. Sixty, seventy years ago they likely housed nice White families.

      • JohnEngelman

        Make sure the doors to your car are locked, and your windows are rolled up when you drive through Detroit.

        I hope the whites got out of those houses before they were murdered.

        • I looked into driving out east to the AmRen conference, and actually like long road trips, but it would take me through St. Louis.

          • You’re welcome.

          • PvtCharlieSlate

            Same sort of thing here. I plan cross-country driving so that I go through Chicago early Sunday morning.

          • Dave West

            You should have just gone south and taken I – 40 straight to Nashville!

        • Alexandra1973

          The doors to my van are ALWAYS locked, even where I live. It takes only one opportunist.

          Now whenever I visit my relatives in the Detroit area, instead of taking I-75 through Detroit, I take I-275 around it.

      • AmeRican*51*Luis Arroyo

        The sad part is the opportunity denied by reverse racism. Those historical brick homes are EXACTLY what attracts gentrification. Detroit deliberately demolished hundreds of abandoned brownstones,mansions in neighborhoods surrounding downtown in an OBVIOUS attempt to restrict gentrification to the Downtown itself. Downtown is now surrounded by a ring of vacant land separating it from the residential areas.

    • Dave West

      On Zillow I came across an 9,000 sq ft mansion in Detroit listed for $565,000. It would be a good buy except for the fact that its value will probably never go up in the forceable future. I might as well blow my money on a 10k trip to Zimbabwe, same thing. At least when you travel to Africa there is always that prospect that you will eventually leave!

  • r j p

    Kevyn D. Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, said that the city’s problem with blighted buildings had mounted since the Great Depression ….
    The Great Depression was long before Whites began to abandon en masse.

  • MekongDelta69

    Tear down DIE-Troit

  • From Motown to Woe-town in 40 years. The whole country is following in the footsteps of Detroit, which will lead to the US looking like Brazil: enclaves of prosperous whites, mixed with massive thurd-world slums. Unless we can collapse the economy with the help of Putin and China. When the cops and the military aren’t getting paid, there will be revolution. The sooner the better.

    • Nonhumans

      I wholly agree. Stating my plans for afterwards would get me moderated. Though I will say that there will be retribution.

      • model1911

        Put me on the mailing list.

    • Moe

      Brazil…or even South Africa.

  • Ike Eichenberg

    White people would look at all the old building and figure out how to use them for good.
    Black people look at the old building to figure out how to use them as crack dens.

    How much is a nuke large enough to level the place? Less than $850 mil?

    • MBlanc46

      “Black people look at the old building to figure out how to use them as crack dens.”

      After they’ve stolen every salable piece of material in them.

  • Tom Thumb

    Ob course, this is all malarkeu, but I’ve seen this type of thing here in the people’s republic of New Jersey. They did this in Camden and then left the lots vacant (the blacks are still there). But they’ve got gangs of blacks go around and clean up the lots daily (paid a stipend by the state – the city of Camden has no money). It doesn’t look that bad. But, of course, it’s to no avail except cosmetically. No normal person or company is going to locate in Camden, I assure you. Not as long as all those blacks are there and they’re not going anywhere.


      Well you know the old saying, how does it go, “once an area goes black it never comes back”? < – Is that it? Sounds right to me.

      • MBlanc46

        Not quite accurate. Gentrification of formerly black (and formerly white before that) has taken place in many American cities.

  • Tarczan

    The only competent black contractor I ever met was a demolition contractor. He was pretty good at smashing stuff down with his bulldozer and hauling it away in trucks.

  • Jesse James

    Here is an idea for the next ruin porn Detroit movie: A renegade military government could go old school and sell the inhabitants to the Chinese in return for some abrogation of our existing debt. They could be transported to Africa to work in the Chinese mining concerns then the military could test out one of those old neutron bombs they used to brag about. Blast it flat, wait twenty years and start over.

    • propagandaoftruth

      Put a wall around it and turn it into “Escape from New York”. But Detroit, of course…


    I suppose this $850,000,000 is what Black race privilege looks like when you’re poor, black and have managed to chase away the White tax payers of your city, with your black race behavior, you know, crime?

    Black privilege, it’s everywhere!

  • MBlanc46

    And how much did this study cost us? And what made it the federal government’s business what Detroit does with it’s decaying buildings?

  • Capt. Bryant

    Give Detroit to all the Boers and any white immigrant for free. Change the demographics back and Detroit will change for the better.

    • Pro_Whitey

      Yes. Not a Blight Removal Task Force, but a Black Removal Task Force.

    • The Boers or Afrikaaners with money would rather move to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Those that cannot leave South Africa for financial reasons are being systematically exterminated. However since they are white (Dutch descent) our Government will NOT offer them any sort of immigration status. It’s true that they’d improve Detroit immensely but that would offend every PC group in the US, which controls 99.9% of the country.

      • Strider73

        Yikes, Ft. Lauderdale is the epicenter of liberalism in Florida. There are more registered Democrats in Broward County (where the town is) than in the 28 westernmost counties combined. The residents are known elsewhere in the state as “Condo Commies.” The Boers would be far happier in the Panhandle, central FL or the Ft. Myers/Naples area.

        • FlaVet

          Yea…all the past tribal inhabitants of Longgg Island got lost on I95..along with the crud from Joisey.

      • Dave West

        Plus non-white parasites are more likely to buy into socialist dogma peddled by the libtards. I remember reading an article after the 2012 election quoting some young Mexican. He basically said something to the effect that he did not vote for Romney because republicans didn’t have anything for him. The pathetic thing is that a person like this will be the average American in 20 or less years, a far cry form the self-sustaining whites who settled the frontier in the 1800’s.

  • IKUredux

    As this country descends into third world status, all cities will be like Detroit. You cannot maintain first world status with third world people. Period. Simply put: they don’t have the brain power. If third worlders had the requisite smarts, their countries wouldn’t be the hell holes they are, they wouldn’t be the kinds of places one would want to flee! Think about it! Mexico has terrific weather and an unbelievable countryside. I have been to Costa Rica and it is a paradise! Now that I am thinking about it, why don’t MILLIONS of Whites pour into Mexico and Costa Rica and just take over? Why not? We Whites could turn these countries into paradise. Pretty sure we could do the same to ALL OF CENTRAL AMERICA! Hey Anglos, let’s vamanos! Let’s take over Central America!

    • Alexandra1973

      Then the Hispanics will want to go BACK to Central America! It’ll be like a back and forth.

      • IKUredux

        So what does that tell you about what the real problem is?

    • Strider73

      I have long advocated that the Dominican Republic conquer next-door Haiti, then “invite” the locals to flee to Cuba (just 50 miles across the Windward Passage). The DR isn’t much by American standards, but is Nirvana by Haitian standards. In a few years the former Haiti would be a better place by orders of magnitude.

      • AmeRican*51*Luis Arroyo

        Unfortunately, Dominican Republic is doomed. While hispanic Santo Domingo improves economically, third world primitive Haiti at over 7 million,continues its population explosion and non stop spillover into DR. DR’s cities all have shantytown ‘favelas’ full of Haitian illegals.

  • NoMosqueHere

    What’s another $850 million to the Honorable Bonehead Hussein? It’s all going to black owned businesses, the Nation of Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Black Panthers, which means just flush the cash down the toilet please.

  • dcc2379

    Maybe the Canadians would be interested in taking Detroit. They still profess diversity, and they don’t have enough Trayvon Martins to fully understand the complexity of the deal. If they agreed, we’d have to immediately wall in the sections to keep their new population on their side. Maybe we’d start the walls at the corners of Chicago and Cleveland.

    • me

      Why do you hate Canadians?

  • me

    I say we move every filthy politician that ever promoted ‘diversity’, ‘affirmative action’, ‘quotas’, the ‘Dream Act’, open borders, globalization, NAFTA, and unlimited illegal immigration TO Detroit, permanently. Along with every member of the NAACP, the SPLC, the ADL, the ‘Rainbow Coalition’, the JDL, AIPAC, La Raza, El Conquinista, the Communist party, the Socialist party, the mainstream media, the Internal Revenue Suckers, Wall Street crooks, NAMBLA , ghey militants, and the international banking cartel–for the remainder of their sorry lives.

  • model1911

    We should take all the politicians,all the bureaucrats and the like currently in D.C and Northern Va.. and move them to Detroit. Turn D.C. in to a beautiful memory of what this country once was.

  • willbest

    Why not just give it to the military and let them conduct urban warfare exercises with it.

  • FlaVet

    Wouldn’t one “Fat Boy” do the job and be cheaper?

  • ejXinMI

    Let the military practice house-to-house combat / urban warfare.

  • garwalf

    Michigan’s moron governor Rick Snyder seems determined to give Detroit away to the Chinese, so maybe they’ll take care of it once the handover is complete.

  • AmeRican*51*Luis Arroyo

    This just shows the inferiority of the Detroit leaders.
    Whites,asians,even Hispanics reclaim neighborhoods and make them thrive.
    Whites renovate entire districts and move back in.
    Whites will take the most delapudated gutted brownstone, home,or factory complex and convert into luxury apartments.
    Jealous black ‘politicians’who have no concept of capitalism or private investment would rather demolish the entire city of Detroit than allow a single block to gentrify.

    • AmeRican*51*Luis Arroyo

      White restore (gentrification-the Kryptonite of ghetto politicians. )Blacks demolish.

      Only a black run city would proclaim “Demolition is progress”.

  • AmeRican*51*Luis Arroyo

    Detroit is a city. It needs buildings and the equally racist anti white and Hispanic black leaders should allow immigrants to settle and rebuild the vacant 40 sq. miles. The land has been vacant over 20 years. It’ll be vacant another 30 to 40 years….UNLESS DETROIT DECLARES A PROPERTY TAX FREE AMNESTY (ABATEMENT) FOR 15 TO 20 YEARS. Sell land to immigrants,yuppies,black entrepreneurs, anyone willing to build. Then reap the property tax windfall as the abatements phase out.

    But that will never happen as spiteful ghetto leaders would rather have 50 more years of vacant lots. Anything to avoid gentrification and new residents who’s interests go beyong government help.