Another one bites the dust
Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand watches as a backhoe takes down a house Tuesday in the 5800 block of Hipp as part of the city of Taylor’s efforts to remove blighted properties, including residential and former school buildings.
TAYLOR – The demolition of 20 unsafe, unoccupied and abandoned structures in the city got under way Monday as workers began knocking down the former Monroe Elementary School.
The school building, on Monroe north of Wick Road, is one of three schools and 20 structures targeted by the city in what Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand called one of the most aggressive demolition projects in its history.
Other school buildings scheduled to be razed are the remains of the former Taylor Center High School at Wick and Westlake roads and the former Bartlett/Racho Elementary School. Monroe and Bartlett/Racho are both on Monroe about a half-mile from one another.
Also on the demolition list are 14 single-family houses, the shell of two structures that once were slated to become the Taylor Meadows Condominiums on Beech Daly near Ecorse Road and a former commercial building near Truman High School at Beech Daly and Goddard Road.
House demolitions began today at dwellings that were deemed the most dangerous buildings at a pace of one house per day.
The first seven houses on the list are in the 5800 block of Hipp, the 24200 block of Beverly, the 6000 block of Glenis, the 24100 block of Kensington, the 5800 block of Buck, the 5800 block of Cherokee and the 11000 block of Syracuse. Other addresses targeted for demolition are in the 8000 block of Robert, the 7900 block of Cornell, the 5900 block of Weddell, the 26900 block of Wick, the 14200 and 11000 blocks of Beech Daly and the 6500 and 15100 blocks of Buck.
Of the 14 single-family houses, nine are owned by the city. Five are privately owned.
Lamarand said seven of the houses were acquired by the city for $1 each as part of the federally supported Taylor Cares program and simply are too costly to rehabilitate and put back on the market.
The mayor said the city agreed to work with the Taylor School District, which cannot afford to demolish buildings. The city is funding the demolition of Taylor Center with part of its share of federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds.
In addition, city Building and Safety Director Rocky Alazazi and Community Development Coordinator John Carter successfully petitioned Wayne County for additional NSP funding for the other structures.
Carter said the former Bartlett/Racho school should be demolished by the end of the month. He said Taylor Center will be razed as soon as on-site work is completed by DTE Energy — “hopefully by the end of the year.”
In some cases, the property will turn into green space. Some adjacent residential property owners have inquired about purchasing some of the property to expand their lots.
Ridding the city of dangerous and abandoned buildings has been a major goal of the Lamarand administration.
“Many of these properties were unsafe and a blight to the community,” Lamarand said. “Our residents have told us this work is very important to them, and I agree. We need to protect the health and welfare of Taylor.”