In early October, residents of the Park Avenue House received 30-day eviction notices after the building’s owner reportedly sold the building. Now, the notices have been rescinded and residents have until June 30, 2019 to find new housing.
The Detroit Free Press reports that the new owner, Troy-based MKiezi Investments, will allow residents to stay while they get ready to renovate the building. The group notes that the sale won’t close until late January, and permitting can take months, so they have no problem with the residents staying put while they look for new housing.
The current building owner, Sean Harrington, has rescinded the 30-day notices.
After residents received the notices in October, the city stepped in to offer assistance; the city council approved $350,000 in emergency funds to be moved to the United Community Housing Coalition in order to help residents find new living arrangements.
In an even stranger turn of events, Harrington wanted appliances removed from the residential units in the building, according to the Free Press. The city responded with a cease and desist letter.
The building is seen as one of the last truly affordable buildings downtown. As more buildings are revitalized, rents continue to increase downtown and in the neighborhoods surrounding it. Park Avenue House resident Richard LaBelle told Curbed that many of the building’s residents worked in service jobs downtown.
While more affordable housing is available outside of downtown, Detroit still has issues with public transportation (although it is improving), combined with the highest car insurance rates in the country.
With new ownership, the Park Avenue House will be converted back into a hotel.