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Demolition of downtown Detroit’s Hotel Charlevoix to begin within 45 days

February 19 2013 | 3 comments


Ralph Sachs has been called one of Detroit’s worst blight offenders by city officials—but soon one of his long-ignored eyesores–and sources of danger–will be coming down.

Demolition of the Hotel Charlevoix, located at the corner of Park and Elizabeth, will begin within 45 days, according to the head of the city’s Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental department.

“Oh my gosh, it’s coming down. I never thought it was going to happen, really,” said Mike Rollo, who manages the building that houses the Bucharest Grill, Park Bar and Cliff Bells–right across the street from the long-abandoned Charlevoix.

“One of the Bucharest employees had bricks come through his car, ya know, it was a mess,” Rollo told Detroit 2020.

The city put up fencing around the building for safety reasons after those bricks began falling. Soon—the entire building will fall—to demolition.

Nate Ford, who is the city’s top blight cop, says clearances are being processed to have utilities capped—and a permit for demolition will follow.  He’s ordering it to begin within 45 days—at the owner’s expense.

Last month, a judge signed an order to tear down the old building.

“It’s fantastic,”  said Sean Harrington, who owns the Park Avenue House and redeveloped the Iodent Building—neighbors to the Charlevoix. “It’s a shame it couldn’t have been salvaged, I mean, there’s that side of it.”

“These old buildings are majestic and they’re beautiful, but getting a building that is in that condition and that state of sadness, you need to just get ‘em down,” he added.

In 2012, the Hotel Charlevoix was on a 7 Action News list of the city’s most dangerous buildings.

Throughout February, Detroit 2020 has focused on the issue of blight in Detroit. But our effort to highlight the problem–and work for solutions–has been ongoing for months. Last August, Detroit 2020 exposed the building’s owner as one of the city’s worst blight offenders.

“It’s a credit to what you guys have done in making this happen, ya know, and being something that’s on people’s minds, and it is moving along,” Rollo told Detroit 2020. “Like I’ve said, I’ll believe it when I see it, but if it moves along faster, I love it.”

When the eyesore is finally removed, Harrington says the city then needs to focus on sprucing up the area. “We have to start looking at planting trees on them and getting from what we did on Woodward and Washington, we have to start moving those, those beautification projects down around the city, in the areas that there are multiple businesses.”

Paul Swanson, attorney for Sachs, said the city’s demand of 45 days to begin demolition is a “reasonable time frame.” He told Detroit 2020 they could start the process of taking down the 108-year old building within a few days of receiving the demolition permit.


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  1. Eric February 19, 2013

    What about the wild cat colony?


  2. Misselis February 20, 2013

    The headline should be:
    Bricks through Windows: the first last and only tool of socialism


  3. De Marti February 21, 2013

    It’s so sad …what has happen to Detroit………’s a very…very dangerous place……


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