The abandoned apartment building was known in the neighborhood as “The Carter” from the1991 crime thriller movie New Jack City.
Like “The Carter,” the empty and blighted 30,000-square-foot apartment building in the 12000 block of Dexter, on Detroit’s northwest side, was rife in its last days with drugs, gangs and violence.
“There were a lot of murders there,” said Mac Thomas, 42, owner of Revelation’s Barber & Braids, at 12174 Dexter. “A lot of drug trafficking there.”
Thomas, who said he had a family member murdered in the building, was glad to see the city and county tearing it down: “It’s time for that building to go,” he said.
Flanked by clergy and community leaders, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano told a large gathering at the July 20 event that the demolition was a successful culmination of a month and a half long campaign.
“Over 400 abandoned and dangerous structures were demolished in close to 50 days,” Ficano said. “As former sheriff, I can tell you these kinds of structures are beds for crime and illegal activities.”
Wayne County, in partnership with the City of Detroit and faith-based groups, targeted 450 structures for demolition throughout the city. The county allocated $4.5 million for the effort. The campaign began in May.
The City of Detroit wants to tear down 3,000 structures in the next two years. The 450 houses targeted by Wayne County are among the 3,000 on Detroit’s demo list.
Faith-based groups picked the houses to be demolished, targeting ones that were particularly dangerous to communities and families.
“This is an exciting moment in our city and our community,” said Bishop P.A. Brooks of New St. Paul Tabernacle Church of God in Christ.
The money used for this partnership is part of Wayne County’s $25.9 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.