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Detroit To Destroy 10,000 Abandoned Homes

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Detroit Shrinks Itself, Historic Homes and All

DETROIT—Wrecking crews are preparing to tear down a landmark 5,000-square-foot house in the posh neighborhood of Palmer Woods in the coming weeks, a sign that Detroit is finally getting serious about razing thousands of vacant and abandoned structures across the city.

In leveling 1860 Balmoral Drive, the boyhood home of one-time presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Detroit is losing a small piece of its history. But the project is part of a demolition effort that is just now gaining momentum and could help define the city's future.

Detroit is finally chipping away at a glut of abandoned homes that has been piling up for decades, and intends to take advantage of warm weather and new federal funding to demolish some 3,000 buildings by the end of September.

Mayor Dave Bing has pledged to knock down 10,000 structures in his first term as part of a nascent plan to "right-size" Detroit, or reconfigure the city to reflect its shrinking population.

When it's all over, said Karla Henderson, director of the Detroit Building Department, "There's going to be a lot of empty space."

Mr. Bing hasn't yet fully articulated his ultimate vision for what comes after demolition, but he has said entire areas will have to be rebuilt from the ground up. For now, his plan calls for the tracts to be converted to other uses, such as parks or farms.

Even when the demolitions are complete, Detroit will still have a huge problem on its hands. The city has roughly 90,000 abandoned or vacant homes and residential lots, according to Data Driven Detroit, a nonprofit that tracks demographic data for the city.

Imagine. What a farce.

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so after bringing the price down to mere $10, there weren't many takers!

empire crumbles under its own weight.

sign of recovery?

Detroit family homes sell for just $10

Family homes in Detroit are selling for as little as $10 (£6) in the wake of America's financial meltdown.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/7427691/Detroit-family-homes-sell-for-just-10.html

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so after bringing the price down to mere $10, there weren't many takers!

empire crumbles under its own weight.

sign of recovery?

There weren't many takers because although the house was 10 bucks, the 'council' taxes were much more, probably. It's why we will never get "off grid"......

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As I travelled around the US, I realised that this actually shows one of the strengths of that country.

Towns grow out of nowhere, satisfy the economics of their time, people migrate to them. Then things change, the economy changes and people migrate elsewhere, ghost towns and cities emerge. In the case of Detroit large parts of it are no longer fit for purpose.

While this can seem sad and maudlin, it shows how adaptable things can be if you have the space and resources for this ebb and flow of history. Its harder to do this in this country because its harder a) to change B) to migrate anywhere else.

So while this looks like a 'failure' it has to be balanced against the growth of the more successful regions where people migrated to as the economy evolved.

The problems only really come when there is nowhere obvious for the economy to evolve to.

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As I travelled around the US, I realised that this actually shows one of the strengths of that country.

Towns grow out of nowhere, satisfy the economics of their time, people migrate to them. Then things change, the economy changes and people migrate elsewhere, ghost towns and cities emerge. In the case of Detroit large parts of it are no longer fit for purpose.

While this can seem sad and maudlin, it shows how adaptable things can be if you have the space and resources for this ebb and flow of history. Its harder to do this in this country because its harder a) to change B) to migrate anywhere else.

So while this looks like a 'failure' it has to be balanced against the growth of the more successful regions where people migrated to as the economy evolved.

The problems only really come when there is nowhere obvious for the economy to evolve to.

That last sentence is the killer.

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I find this death of a city fascinating, what happens to the big impressive structures that serve no purpose and urban dwellings when there is no urban population? Watching this is like it must have been to watch the decay of the Romano-British cities and towns when their purpose had gone.

Will it retain the semblance of a city or will it shrink piecemeal into a scatter of smaller towns, with the central municipal buildings surviving as a central point, or will the cost of upkeep of the big buildings mean that they go as well and smaller scattered authorities emerge? And as those who can work and better themselves leave because of the poor quality of life and disproportionately high taxes does it end up with a population that is either in care homes or prisons? And then who pays the bill for this. Interesting stuff.

I've read one property journo admit he bought a house in Detroit because it was so cheap but soon regretted it; I wonder how many others did.

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As I travelled around the US, I realised that this actually shows one of the strengths of that country.

Towns grow out of nowhere, satisfy the economics of their time, people migrate to them. Then things change, the economy changes and people migrate elsewhere, ghost towns and cities emerge. In the case of Detroit large parts of it are no longer fit for purpose.

While this can seem sad and maudlin, it shows how adaptable things can be if you have the space and resources for this ebb and flow of history. Its harder to do this in this country because its harder a) to change B) to migrate anywhere else.

So while this looks like a 'failure' it has to be balanced against the growth of the more successful regions where people migrated to as the economy evolved.

The problems only really come when there is nowhere obvious for the economy to evolve to.

looks like modern man has something to learn from the "primitive" Nomads. portable housing for a portable survival.

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As I travelled around the US, I realised that this actually shows one of the strengths of that country.

Towns grow out of nowhere, satisfy the economics of their time, people migrate to them. Then things change, the economy changes and people migrate elsewhere, ghost towns and cities emerge. In the case of Detroit large parts of it are no longer fit for purpose.

While this can seem sad and maudlin, it shows how adaptable things can be if you have the space and resources for this ebb and flow of history. Its harder to do this in this country because its harder a) to change B) to migrate anywhere else.

So while this looks like a 'failure' it has to be balanced against the growth of the more successful regions where people migrated to as the economy evolved.

The problems only really come when there is nowhere obvious for the economy to evolve to.

It doesnt look like failure it is complete and utter abject failure, Millions in time and money have been spent in building these places over the last decade and now millions will be spent knocking them down, it is pure waste, There are millions of homeless in America. If the properties arent viable from an economic perspective for anyone its because the taxes that are required to live in there make it unviable. Cut the taxes, even get rid of them and people will live there and companies will move there. This is no different to the EU food mountain fiascos of yesteryear. Its price fixing (in this case the price of taxes) madness

From a human level it is ridculous failure

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It doesnt look like failure it is complete and utter abject failure, Millions in time and money have been spent in building these places over the last decade and now millions will be spent knocking them down, it is pure waste, There are millions of homeless in America. If the properties arent viable from an economic perspective for anyone its because the taxes that are required to live in there make it unviable. Cut the taxes, even get rid of them and people will live there and companies will move there. This is no different to the EU food mountain fiascos of yesteryear. Its price fixing (in this case the price of taxes) madness

From a human level it is ridculous failure

debt needs taxes to service it.

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As I travelled around the US, I realised that this actually shows one of the strengths of that country.

Towns grow out of nowhere, satisfy the economics of their time, people migrate to them. Then things change, the economy changes and people migrate elsewhere, ghost towns and cities emerge. In the case of Detroit large parts of it are no longer fit for purpose.

While this can seem sad and maudlin, it shows how adaptable things can be if you have the space and resources for this ebb and flow of history. Its harder to do this in this country because its harder a) to change B) to migrate anywhere else.

So while this looks like a 'failure' it has to be balanced against the growth of the more successful regions where people migrated to as the economy evolved.

The problems only really come when there is nowhere obvious for the economy to evolve to.

"Tell me the bit where I get to tend the rabbits george."

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Cities should be continuously redefined. In fairness many of these Detroit homes have been abandoned for decades and they wil be in an appalling condition.

By demolishing them and landscaping the area attractively it will improve the quality of life for those still there and may make the city more attractive to outsiders.

Many of Britain's inner city areas need the same treatment. For instance the area around Anfield in Liverpool is in desperate need of redevelopment. Hopefully, for the good of the area, Hicks & Gillett will sell the club to new owners who can afford to build the new Stanley Park stadium and encourage the Merseyside authorities to follow suit with the streets in the area.

Edited by Dave Spart

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I find this death of a city fascinating, what happens to the big impressive structures that serve no purpose and urban dwellings when there is no urban population? Watching this is like it must have been to watch the decay of the Romano-British cities and towns when their purpose had gone.

There is a island in Japan called Battleship Island, it was completely evacuated in 1968 and also Rebirth Island in Kazahkstan it was a bio weapons institute but once the USSR collasped people left

You may like this

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Cities should be continuously redefined. In fairness many of these Detroit homes have been abandoned for decades and they wil be in an appalling condition.

By demolishing them and landscaping the area attractively it will improve the quality of life for those still there and may make the city more attractive to outsiders.

Many of Britain's inner city areas need the same treatment. For instance the area around Anfield in Liverpool is in desperate need of redevelopment. Hopefully, for the good of the area, Hicks & Gillett will sell the club to new owners who can afford to build the new Stanley Park stadium and encourage the Merseyside authorities to follow suit with the streets in the area.

Except because the houses are not £10 no regeneration goes on if you have to spend 95% of your budget buying houses to take them down you won't get far.

In the USA houses fall to worthless, in China land just gets seized.

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There is a island in Japan called Battleship Island, it was completely evacuated in 1968 and also Rebirth Island in Kazahkstan it was a bio weapons institute but once the USSR collasped people left

You may like this

Not really Ken! I was thinking quietly falling back to nature, trees growing in buildings. Not fresh water seas drying up and becoming saline. Interesting though. I'd like to see more from Chernobyl but I can fully understand why film crews don't go there.

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Cities should be continuously redefined. In fairness many of these Detroit homes have been abandoned for decades and they wil be in an appalling condition.

By demolishing them and landscaping the area attractively it will improve the quality of life for those still there and may make the city more attractive to outsiders.

Many of Britain's inner city areas need the same treatment. For instance the area around Anfield in Liverpool is in desperate need of redevelopment. Hopefully, for the good of the area, Hicks & Gillett will sell the club to new owners who can afford to build the new Stanley Park stadium and encourage the Merseyside authorities to follow suit with the streets in the area.

There were whole streets of council houses demolished in south Liverpool in the late 80s because the city's population was falling and the demand wasn't there.

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Detroit appears to be an object lesson as to why it's not a good idea to build an entire city around a single industry. It's already clear that the next generation of motor vehicles (electrics, hybrids, and mega-efficient diesels) aren't going to be built by the 'big three' - they've already been left behind on that score. Same scenario with Middlesbrough and initially the docks/coal export and then later iron and steel, and finally chemical production. The first two are more or less totally gone and the third is in decline. I wouldn't be surprised if in a century's time, M'bro is back to where it was in the eighteenth century: a fishing village on the bank of the Tees.

The other issue with Detroit is that it has one of the biggest airports in the US. I presume that at the moment, it's probably safe as a transit hub (I change planes through DTW once or twice a year, and will be doing so in July). But as originating and destination traffic declines, and presumably Delta will want to rationalise their hubs following the merger with Northwest, I wouldn't be surprised to see some quite brutal downsizing at that airport.

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Detroit To Destroy 10,000 Abandoned Homes Motor city madness or logic?

Liquidating costly malinvestment = logic (the madness happened previously).

What we'd do in the UK would be to prop it up with tax/debt/welfare transfers, saving on short-term pain/unpoplarity but disadvantaging every future generation born in the place. That is madness.

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Liquidating costly malinvestment = logic (the madness happened previously).

What we'd do in the UK would be to prop it up with tax/debt/welfare transfers, saving on short-term pain/unpoplarity but disadvantaging every future generation born in the place. That is madness.

Well said. One of the problems of the UK is it's ancient crumbling housing stock.

In Germany it's completely normal that the older a house is, the less it's worth. I know someone who inherited a 50's detached family house with large garden in the outskirts of a big city in Germany. When he sold it he basically got the value of the land for it, the house itself was worth zero (despite it wasn't in bad shape, simply too old for German standards) and will be torn down by the buyer to build a new one.

Therefore Detroit is doing the right thing, to regenerate a city you need to get rid of the old derelict no longer used housing stock first, rather than trowing more good money after bad (as is typical for the UK).

Edited by wise_eagle

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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