With the Wayne County Auction of tax foreclosed properties starting up again tomorrow, it seemed like the right time to check in on one of the more famous foreclosed property purchases. Slows BBQ front man Phil Cooley bought what is now known as Pony Ride for $100,000 in March 2011. It wasn't part of one of the major auction rounds, but it was foreclosed for delinquent taxes like the properties up for sale tomorrow.
Phil's mission was to, "see how the foreclosure crisis can have a positive impact on our communities." Basically, he wanted to use the cheaply bought 30,000 square foot space to rent (cheaply!) to socially-conscious artists and entrepreneurs. This week, we took a photo tour which reveals much rehab had happened since we first took a peek in January during a great era of drop-ceilings. These days Pony Ride is looking pretty in pink columns, and has shed some terrible carpets and weird interior walls. We've included a gallery of our tour in January to show just how far the place has come. You'll also notice that a lot went into the exterior when it came to building a sandy "beach" and adding some snazzy graffiti.
Currently, Pony Ride is home to several businesses, included a pop-up coffee shop, Anthology. Others include Detroit Denim, Stukenborg Press, Smith Shop, and Paul P Karas Designs. The Empowerment Plan, Veronika Scott's company that produces self-heating coats that transform into sleeping bags for the homeless, is likely the most high-profile tenant, thanks to some love from the New York Times.
· Ponyride [Official]
· Inside the Pony Ride: From foreclosure to empowerment in Corktown [MLive]