New Detroit initiative targets commercial blight

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Posted at 1:56 PM, Aug 11, 2022

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A major effort is underway to take on blighted properties in the city of Detroit and do the necessary cleanup to restore the city's beauty. Several buildings and lots got a visit from the city today, much to the satisfaction of neighbors.

Rusted fencing, old signs, trash and brush are all being targeted in the new Detroit campaign by the Commercial Corridor team near Grand River and the Southfield freeway.

“Weeds. Oh, my goodness,” says Katrina Crowley, City of Detroit, Assistant Director of Blight remediation.

Her team has restored a sense of pride and already addressed 427 commercial properties along 14 corridors throughout the city.

“I think it should tell other businesses that the city cares. We care about your business. We care about the physical look of your business,” says Crawley.

Owners have been ticketed. There’s even work being done to repaint some properties.

“Out of state owners who’ve just given us the finger and don’t want to take care of their property. We’re trying to encourage and in some cases force them to take care of their property,” says Crawley.

Community activist Jane Garcia adding “It’s falling on the businesses left behind, when bad business owners leave behind a mess.”

Another neighbor, Cecilia Benedict tells us she’s hopeful this campaign will lead to more motivation for additional cleanup.

“Let’s keep it going and cleanup broken glass, trash and treat property like someone is coming to visit your home,” says Benedict.

The city says owners who don’t maintain property, will eventually by billed for cleanup. That can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.