If you were following along the last time we LIVE blogged a Historic District Commission Hearing (again, kudos to our reporter on the ground @BuildingHugger for sitting through that) you learned that two Brush Park homes were approved for demo. It's been less than two weeks, but as of yesterday, the homes (281 Erskine and 259 Erskine) were down already. Did the owners drive off from the meeting in excavators and plow straight in? That was fast.
Both buildings are owned by the Kappa Foundation, which held onto them for over thirty years but admitted to HDC that they only put a few thousand dollars into maintenance. In essence, they let them decay, and then claimed financial hardship. While the Kappas did not make any friends at the hearing in which they sought permission to demo, they ultimately prevailed in their request because the condition of the homes was so bad.
Both homes were on the emergency demo list as of the HDC hearing. Much of the conversation centered on whether the Kappas received the notices that their buildings had safety violations (they claim the did not). The Kappas were ordered to pay the fees previously ignored on those. Each house was bought for a mere $1,000 each! The HDC clearly did not feel too sorry for the Kappas and deemed the case classic "demolition by neglect."
· LIVEBLOG: On the Scene For Building News at the HDC Meeting [Curbed Detroit]