Gassed out 

Amidst the high weeds, gang graffiti and signature Tyree Guyton “demolish me” dot near the windows of this abandoned service station at 8147 E. Warren is a bright yellow sign nailed to the doorframe from the activist group Motor City Blight Busters, reading “We can help.”

Help, obviously, is much needed.

Neighbors in this East Side community say the former auto station across from St. Timothy’s Baptist Church has been vacant close to 20 years. A quick search by the ASS crew revealed the building has been on the demolition docket since early 2000. Officials from the Buildings and Safety Engineering Department say the City of Detroit is selecting a contractor to tear down the structure as soon as possible. We found that odd because a business owner across the street, who wished to remain anonymous, says the property owner recently attempted to sell the building to him for $13,000 — even though, according to tax records, the assessed value of the property is only $6,950.

John George, executive director of Motor City Blight Busters, hopes to intervene. George says, “If the owner would be willing to donate the building and get a tax break, then we would do the demolition ourselves, clean it up and find a developer willing to make something positive happen.”

With 20 years of demolition experience, Blight Busters might be one of the few nonprofit organizations that can walk the walk. One way or the other, the building is coming down. Let’s hope something positive is built in its place.

Editor’s note: If you know of an abandoned home you would like to see featured in this spot, send a photo and pertinent information to News Hits, c/o Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 (or e-mail

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