State process to fund DeHoCo razing begins
Prison housing facilities Detroit House of Corrections, Five Mile Road, Plymouth Township
Aug. 5, 2016 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Initial steps are under way for demolition at the site of the former Detroit House of Corrections.
The buildings, described as blight by state officials, has hindered development in both Plymouth and Northville townships.
The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority has awarded the ATC Group of Novi a contract to begin preliminary environmental analysis work at the site, located on Five Mile Road.
Gov. Rick Snyder in May signed into law a plan to transfer $4 million to the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Fund so it could start preparation work at the 125-acre site, which was used for the Detroit House of Corrections from the early 1900s to mid-1980s, and also as a rubbish dump from the 1920s through the 1950s. Buildings on the site have been vacant since 2004.
“Redeveloping the DeHoCo site will not only be an economic boost to Plymouth and Northville townships, but it also will improve the quality of life for its residents, making it a stronger community,” said Steve Arwood, director of the State Department of Talent and Economic Development, which oversees the Land Band Fast Track Authority. “These are the first steps of a long process, but mark an important step to move for- ward on improving this site. We are committed to moving quickly, but diligently to ensure safe demolition of these blighted structures.”
State Rep. Kurt Heise, R- Plymouth Township, sponsored the legislation to provide the initial resources, bills approved with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“This site isn’t just an eyesore, it has hurt surrounding property values and has been a barrier to economic development that could create more and better jobs in the community,” Heise said. “It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point and we have far to go. But I’m focused on getting this project started so the region can benefit.”
State agencies and the ATC Group are planning to start reviewing the structures on the site this week to gather information needed to plan for future demolition work. The land bank is planning an aggressive time- line that could see the demolition work under way before the end of the year.
The environmental studies also are needed to determine potential uses for the site, or what additional work beyond demolition could be needed before the land could be redeveloped, officials said.
Aerial Photos © Lynn Gregg / All rights reserved