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Posted on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Blight beat: Ypsilanti Township seeks bids for demolition of 6 rotting homes

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti Township is seeking bids for demolition of six blighted properties on which staff first took legal action around a year ago.

The demolitions are estimated to cost from $30,000 to $50,000 total. The township is still in court with some of the property owners to determine who will pay for the demolitions. Liens will be placed on each the properties when funds aren't available from property owners.

The addresses include:

  • 1650 E. Forest Ave.
  • 554 E. Grand Blvd.
  • 597 E. Grand Blvd.
  • 1248 E. Clark Road
  • 2371 Wiard Court
  • 2375 Wiard Court

The Wiard Court homes were first brought to officials' attention in 2007 when renters there were operating a dog fighting ring. The operation was busted by LAWNET and 17 pit bulls were rescued from the house.


A mold-infested house that will soon be demolished at 1650 E. Forest Ave.

Tom Perkins | For

Building inspectors found numerous code violations at the homes including a serious electrical hazard. Electricity had been cut at one of the properties, so the owner of both homes was running extension cords out of one house, across the lawn and into the other home.

Officials also found children playing in raw sewage that was leaking out of a crawl space in one of the homes. The properties’ owner lives in Florida and hasn’t responded to township requests to bring the homes up to code.

He lost the properties to foreclosure and they are now owned by Deutsche Bank, which is contending that it is not liable for the demolition. That dispute will be resolved by the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.

The house at 1248 E. Clark Road is owned by Florida-based Home Dreams but was dubbed the ‘House of Nightmares’ by township officials. It was first brought to their attention through neighbors' complaints in 2009.

Among other issues are a hole in the roof where the owner fell through and another section of the roof is completely missing. Parts of the basement wall are bowing or collapsing and the floor is wet because of moisture collecting in it. Large sections of interior walls are missing, mold-infested and rotting.

Home Dreams has not responded to the township’s requests to bring the homes up to code.

"I guess they think of Florida as a foreign country because they don’t think they need to respond to us," Township Attorney Doug Winters said. "At some point in time we’re going to pursue with some collection activity, and as they are still part of the United States, we are going to have a judge enforce the laws to the full force and credit of the constitution, even if we have to go to Florida."

Officials were led to the home at 554 E. Grand Blvd. after neighbors called because water was pouring out the basement window. A pipe had burst and filled the basement, and the water damage has left the building’s foundation rotting and unstable.

The woman who owned the home passed away last year, and her daughter, who inherited the home, died soon after. The homes' heirs don't want to take the house, Winters said, and the township will pay for the demolition.

Officials were alerted to a large Victorian home at 597 Grand Boulevard by LAWNET officers who were making a drug and prostitution bust there. Building Inspector Ron Fulton said the house is full of code violations and the owners chopped it up into a duplex without permits.

Officials suspect it was operating as a boarding house or apartment building. Winters said the township has dubbed the home the "Adams Family" house because it resembles the home in the "Adams Family."

The home at 1650 E. Forest Ave. is owned by Deutsche Bank after the previous owner lost it in foreclosure.

The bank has offered $8,100 toward demolition of the home, which is infested with mold, has a garage on the verge of collapse and “is a just a beautiful gift to the neighborhood” Fulton said.

The Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees approved taking the home’s title from the bank, so it is now the township’s responsibility, though the $8,100 should mostly cover the demolition and asbestos remediation costs.

“We believe this is a reasonable way to proceed,” Fulton said.

Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter for



Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 2:39 p.m.

I would love more information about the home at 597 Grand Boulevard. It is so out of place in that neighborhood. I have wondered about it's history for years. A huge, once-grand Victorian amongst 1950's tract-style homes, it's fascinating. Does anyone have any insight? As a side note (and agreeing with a poster above me), to refer to it as an "Adams Family" style home is incorrect, it is "Addams Family," with two "d's."

dading dont delete me bro

Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 3:12 a.m.

what's it co$t to rent a bulldozer for a weekend?

Ann English

Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

It was Gomez and Morticia Addams' house in The Addams Family. It is spelled with two D's because Charles Addams decided it would match his own surname's spelling. A book was written long ago about John Adams and four generations of his descendants (three of them named Charles Francis Adams) titled The Adams Family, but both John and John Quincy were born in small, single-story houses, within walking distance of each other.

Ann English

Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 12:16 a.m.

Your link to a map for 554 Grand Boulevard shows us the address in Detroit, not in Ypsilanti.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 8:07 p.m.

NOW CLEAN -UP DOWNTOWN Ypsi..they building on the corner of hamilton and Michigan Ave. Romve please they are between a grocery store and a resteraunt an fhve been sitting thre for over 8 years ..with the sign saying coming SOON..i. well soon is too late .nOW

dading dont delete me bro

Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

moveover, you would have to take that up with the city, not the township. yeah, i like how it says coming soon on that sun faded paper too.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

The running joke among Washington is to let Spain reclaim Florida. All I know is they did succeed from the union during the Civil War. So, did they rejoin? I love how people think they can just walk away from property and think it will all go away. Sad.

Ann English

Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

The word is "secede" not "succeed".

Nancy Corfman

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

Go Ypsilanti Twp! It's about time these properties were demolished! However, I'm curious...wasn't there a decision made to demolish the property at 1200 Redleaf, yet a building permit was pulled by Handi Helper to renovate it? I'm confused...this was a rat, skunk and dog fecal infested home. I wish the person who purchased the house fully understands what they're getting into. p.s. To the reporter of this article: You may want to check your grammar and spelling before printing future articles. What I found: ..."some point "of" time" should be "...some point "in" time (when quoting Attorney Winters). The word extension(s) should not be plural, the word "chords" should be cords (unless there is a choir singing :-) , the word "lawn(s)" should be "lawn" (singular) and the word "hansn't" should be spelled "hasn't". Keep smiling!

dading dont delete me bro

Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

gotta love thag spell checker machine

Cole Bertsos

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

Nancy- Those changes have been made. Thanks for letting us know!


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

I wonder if any of these homes cold be rehabbed and saved. Would bring money into the township for taxes if they could be. Even if just one could be saved for a family, I think it would be worth it to look into.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

Go back and read the article again. These places are beyond repair and no amount of money would make them habitable. You would never recoup in taxes what it would cost, even if you could rehab them.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 11:27 a.m.

Nice job, tear them down!