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Huff Post and Freep Follow Up On The Marathon Oil Buy Out

Last week, we told you about Marathon Oil's buyout of the Oakwood Heights neighborhood which is happening in two stages that split the hood into Zones. We talked to discontented Zone Two-ers, but yesterday's Huff Post Detroit report is indicating more support for the buyout in Zone One. (Zone Two has to wait til next November for official offers from their oil company neighbor). According to the Free Press, 80% of Zone One is taking these offers. But is that "support?" Or grudging acceptance of bad situation and unwillingness to take on a corporation trying to empty an area of all vitality? Huff Post touts Marathon's 2007 Energy Star award for improving its energy efficiency, while the Freep focuses on an increase in the money Marathon is dumping into these offers.

In a letter to residents of the district, Marathon said it has decided to increase the minimum appraised price for owner-occupied homes from $40,000 to $50,000. That means that a habitable home appraised at $15,000 as a part of the early sign-up period will receive an offer of $64,000 ($50,000 base, plus 50% of the appraised price ($7,500) plus applicable program bonuses or incentives).

The Freep also points out that Zone One residents only have til Feb 29 to enroll in the program but that enrollment only ensures a purchase offer, not a buyout. It seems that they could reject the offer and stick it out if the price did not seem right. Marathon is spending $2.2 Billion to expand in Southwest Detroit, a price that includes what they are putting into the buyout.

· Marathon Petroleum Buyout Finds Support In Oakwood Heights [Huff Post Detroit]
· Marathon: 80% in SW Detroit district enroll in plant expansion buy-out program [Freep]
· The Neighborhood Marathon Oil Is Killing With Its Buyout [Curbed Detroit]