Wednesday, August 19, 2009

48 Vacant Buildings Blight Downtown Detroit

DETROIT NEWS -- Some four dozen big buildings in the heart of Detroit are languishing, vacant, because demand for commercial and office space has dropped and money to demolish or renovate them has dried up. These are among the most visible ghosts in a city of ghostly buildings -- the harsh, physical evidence of a community that has lost 1 million people from its peak population of 1.8 million in the 1950s.

While there is no official ledger of empty buildings, The Detroit News identified 48 major structures with no outward signs of life in the Central Business District, which covers about 127 blocks. Others have one or two remaining tenants.

Vacancies downtown are only a small part of the story: According to the U.S. Postal Service, there are 62,000 uninhabited buildings and vacant lots throughout Detroit. Entire blocks of commercial and residential property are deserted.

MP: Be sure to check out the interactive map in the article, where you can click on each of the vacant buildings on the map to see photos.

Thanks to Russ Harris.
Originally posted at Carpe Diem.


At 8/19/2009 9:33 PM, Anonymous Mika said...

Sad. The epitome of what "white flight" can do.

At 8/19/2009 10:04 PM, Blogger Jack Miller said...

Obviously there is a direct link between the dramatic real price decline of cars and the dramatic decline of Detroit. While it lasted, the auto oligopoly, enabled and abetted by our government, took millions of extra dollars from American consumers and gave them to the auto companies, the unions and the workers. Total use of autos will go up now that the price has come down. The cars are being made in Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, etc.

At 8/19/2009 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you like that story, you'll love this photo essay The Feral Houses of Detroit.

At 8/19/2009 11:49 PM, Anonymous Ian Random said...

I can't understand how a liberal city would have any vacancies. I'm certain that years of progressive policies would make the ideal environment for any business. They really should be attracting people like California. Maybe a good light rail line downtime would be just the thing to increase demand. Couple that with traffic calming measures and bicycle friendly lanes.

At 8/20/2009 1:18 AM, Anonymous LoneSnark said...

Jack Miller: you are mistaken. What is happening to Detroit is more subtle than that. Try to recall, Detroit is not the first city in North America to face a sustained collapse of its sole industry. Think back to Southern California's loss of aeronautics back in the 70s, Chicago's loss of the slaughter house industry, or Pittsburg's loss of steel. What makes Detroit unique is its particularly poor business climate, so as the big three shrank, nothing grew to fill the void and utilize the available resources (workers, office space, etc) even at distressed prices.

At 8/20/2009 3:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I can tell Pittsburgh has rebounded pretty well (I can't figure out why) from the loss of the steel industry, despite Pennsylvania's generally hostile tax and business environment and its own noxious taxes (including a city wage income tax and a city business income tax).

The only other place I can think of that's as hostile to business as Detroit is Philadelphia. Philadelphia complements its city income taxes with a 3% real estate transfer tax and crushing bureaucracy. No sane person owns a business within city limits; the contrast in prosperity with its suburbs is striking.

At 8/20/2009 5:03 AM, Blogger KO said...

California has ghost towns from when the gold ran out in certain areas. I guess Michigan has their automotive ghost towns now.

At 8/20/2009 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Iraq.

On second thought, Iraq was nicer.

What's sad, Mika, is that whites MUST flee and what and who they must flee. I don't suppose you've ever considered living, working, or raising a family in these places. It isn't about race. It's about the poverty of character afflicting many people in the US. It just so happens a disproportionate number of these people are black which gives you bleeding hearts a convenient target for fundamental attribution error.

Would you care to 'go out walkin after midnight' like Patsy Cline in any of these infested, wretched leftist cities? You'd be 'Crazy' and 'Fall to pieces'.

At 8/20/2009 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mika, to echo Ian Random, the onus is on you to explain why 40 years of democratic, liberal political rule hasn't turned Detroit into the garden spot of the Midwest.

At 8/20/2009 8:58 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

You sure there isn't just a former city blighting the Michigan countryside?

Might be a better way to look at it, from this and your subsequent article on "feral houses"



At 1/24/2010 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberal rule isn't the problem. Utterly corrupt rule is. No city can withstand the amount money and power the local government has abused in the city of Detroit. Couple that with the declining source of industry and now decades of poverty, and I'm afraid it may not recover.

At 7/09/2010 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a very sad sight to see. The buildings still show a ghost of the beauty they had. As someone who had to move here, due to job, I cannot wait to leave. The government is corrupt and the taxes are out of control. Sad, so very very sad to see.


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