Detroit to businesses: Clean up your blight

Reprinted from Detroit Free Press

Detroit free pressDetroit’s fight to reduce blight has begun to focus more on vacant, dilapidated business properties marring the city’s landscape, with city lawyers quietly taking dozens of property owners to court in recent months to get them to either fix up or demolish their buildings.

A team of six lawyers in Detroit’s Law Department has brought more than 50 lawsuits in Wayne County Circuit Court against commercial property owners in the last nine months, many targeting blighted buildings that help tarnish neighborhoods.

Targeted so far have been the owners of properties ranging from a large, dilapidated apartment complex on the city’s west side, to a downtown high-rise and even a two-family duplex near Indian Village, one of the Detroit’s more stable neighborhoods.

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