City of Taylor’s aggressive demolition program is under way

The demolition of 20 unsafe, unoccupied and/or abandoned structures in Taylor got under way November 9 as workers began knocking down the former Monroe Elementary School.

The school building, located on Monroe north of Wick Road, is one of three schools and 20 structures targeted by the city in what Mayor Jeffrey P. Lamarand called one of the most aggressive demolition projects in Taylor history.

Other school buildings scheduled to be razed are the remains of the former Taylor Center High School at Wick and Westlake roads and the former Bartlett/Racho Elementary School. Monroe and Bartlett/Racho are both located on Monroe about a half-mile from one another.

Also on the demolition list are 14 single-family homes, the shell of two structures that were once slated to become the Taylor Meadows Condominiums on Beech Daly near Ecorse Road and a former commercial building near Truman High School at Beech Daly and Goddard Road.

Home demolitions began November 10 at dwellings that were deemed the most dangerous buildings -- at a pace of one house per day.

The first seven homes on the list are located at 5845 Hipp, 24225 Beverly, 6081 Glenis, 24135 Kensington, 5842 Buck, 5827 Cherokee and 11093 Syracuse.

Other addresses targeted for demolition are located 8050 Robert, 7941 Cornell,  5921 Weddell,  26925 Wick, 14220 and 11049 Beech Daly and 6513 and 15195 Buck.

Of the 15 single-family homes, 10 are owned by the city. Five are privately owned.

Mayor Lamarand said seven of the homes were acquired by the city for $1 each as part of the federally supported Taylor Cares program and are simply too costly to rehabilitate and put back on the market.

The Mayor said the city agreed to work with the Taylor School District, which cannot afford to demolish buildings. The city is funding the demolition of Taylor Center with part of its share of federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds.

In addition, city Building and Safety Director Rocky Alazazi and Community Development Coordinator John Carter successfully petitioned Wayne County for additional NSP funding for the other structures.

Carter said the former Bartlett/Racho school should be demolished by the end of November. He said Taylor Center will be razed as soon as on-site work is completed by DTE Energy -- “hopefully by the end of the year.”

In some cases, the property will turn into green space. Some adjacent residential property owners have inquired about purchasing some of the property to expand their lots.

Ridding the city of dangerous and abandoned buildings has been a major goal of the Lamarand administration.

“Many of these properties were unsafe and a blight to the community,” Mayor Lamarand said. “Our residents have told us this work is very important to them and I agree. We need to protect the health and welfare of Taylor.”

Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand watches a home on Hipp get demolished. The dwelling is one of 15 on the
city’s list of dangerous homes scheduled to be razed.

The former Monroe School (above) is one of three school buildings on the demolition list. The city is
using federal Neighborhood Stabilization Funds to perform the work for the Taylor School District.

One of the city’s worst eyesores is arguably the Taylor Meadows Condominiums -- which never
became condos after all. Now they are scheduled for demolition.