Once-grand haven

Oct 27, 2004 at 12:00 am

The six-story apartment building located at 25 Waverly in Highland Park, was nearly a tragic example of why the demolition of vacant and abandoned structures ought to be a priority for cities throughout Wayne County.

Late last week, A.S.S. heard that a small team of Wayne County deputy sheriffs had just entered the apartment complex near Woodward Avenue, one block south of the Davison expressway. Hotfooting it to the building, we saw an undercover deputy standing just outside the building, shotgun in hand.

The sheriff’s department, which patrols Highland Park since the state took over management of the troubled city, got the call 20 minutes earlier when Reggie Mapp, a resident of the area, ran into a post office nearby after seeing two suspicious people enter the building.

“I seen a man go in there with a little girl,” Mapp said. “I’m thinking he goin’ in there to get high. Then I saw the little girl, and I knew it was something else.”

A crowd of spectators soon gathered, along with a cameraman from a local television news station. Eight deputies combed the building for almost an hour, but found no offender — and no abducted girl. Deputies said every floor in the building has weak spots, and litter is strewn all over the inside. In one room, they found a mattress strewn with porn.

By Monday, they had determined that the situation was either a false alarm, or the suspect was scared away by the crowds that gathered. No news may be good news in this case, but neighbors say they still fear the building has long been a haven for drug use, transients and sexual predators. They want it torn down.

A search of Wayne County records revealed no owner or demolition plans, so we’ll join the chorus. Knock it down.

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 [email protected]).

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