GP Park denies intentionally building a street-blocking shed in Detroit


Grosse Pointe Park did nothing wrong when it built a farmer’s market blocking a historic east-west route at the border of Detroit, a councilman said today.

Councilman Grano

Councilman Daniel Grano was responding to our report Tuesday that showed Grosse Pointe Park built a shed on Kercheval on property that belongs to Detroit because of an overlooked anomaly on the border, according to city and U.S. government maps. It’s the sixth road blocking off Detroit traffic along Alter.

Grano said he “believes” Detroit officials signed off on the city’s border before the farmer’s market was built this summer.

“I believe Detroit surveyed this for us and construction occurred on our side of the border based on their surveying marks,” Grano said. “The city administration is looking into this matter further, and I am sure the city will do whatever is legally called for if it was incorrect in that assessment.”

Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration is withholding comment until the city is done investigating the issue.

Grano said he’s offended that some people believe the farmer’s market was built for racial reasons.

“Grosse Pointe Park, especially the neighborhoods around our new market square, is a very racially mixed community of which many of us are proud,” Grano said. “It is insulting for us to be continually portrayed as racists when we are not.”

Grosse Pointe Park City Manager Dale Krajniak has not returned calls or e-mails for comment.

A photographer working on a project about Detroit’s boundaries tipped us off about a notch in the city’s border at Kercheval and Alter. City and other government maps, along with tax records, indicate that the border between the two cities juts a block east, encompassing the heart of Grosse Pointe’s project to build a farmer’s market on Kercheval.

Grosse Pointe Park’s charter doesn’t account for the notch in the border. There are similar anomalies near Charlevoix and E. Jefferson to accommodate large buildings.

Here is the border as defined by city and U.S. government maps:

GPP Detroit Border

Six roads are blocked along Alter at the border of Detroit:

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • RadioRon

    Steve, when are you going to make corrections to this and the original article regarding the actual location of the boarder between GPP and Detroit? The longer you let this go it becomes more and more apparent that the purpose of the articles was not to “expose” wrongdoing, but to stir a race debate and nothing more. It would appear that you are not living up to your banner slogan “Independent news dedicated to improving life in Detroit.”

    • Oberyn_Martell

      He will not. As you say it isn’t inflammatory enough.

  • new_detroit

    I think it’s important to not let the real issue get lost in the discussion of property lines:

    It’s fully inappropriate to block off 6(!) roads between neighborhoods. If they wanted this farmer’s market so much (which I’ve not seen used at all btw) they should have unblocked several of the other roads to alleviate traffic back-pressure.

    If they want a WEEKEND market PART of the year, a few orange cones would suffice.

    • Oberyn_Martell

      How could you know if it has been used? I thought you stopped coming into the neighborhood…

      • new_detroit

        The half dozen times I squeezed through the one lane streets before I gave up I saw nothing but a wasteland where the “market” should be.

        • Oberyn_Martell

          It is only just now being finished. Do you put food in a stall still being painted and cluttered with dust?

          • Dust Buster

            good collar columbo. i kinda wondered the same thing. crybabies that want to lie to make their point. I SPENT 5K A MONTH WITH MY FAMILY SHOPPING IN GP….. I CAN ASSURE YOU WE WILL BE TAKING OUR BUSINESS TO MIDTOWN!!!!

          • ryanguard

            $5000 a month shopping in GP?Damn,how big of a family do you have???lol!

          • Mariano_H

            he is reaching. There is no burden to use it. Detroit stopped maintaining 275 parks for 2-3 years, you will hear him suggest anyone can land grab the parks because they are not used.

            EVERYTHING the guy says, is excuses. He literally has no morals, no values, no ethics. He tries to engineer situations where he decides the outcome on a case by case basis and he needs to know age, race, sex, voting blocks, religion etc. Then he can pick the outcome that favors him and people like him.

        • Mariano_H

          wow, thats a wasteland. Have you ventured further past alter to connor, fox creek, dickerson etc. There are about two barely ok areas. The sub with the manoogian mansion, and indian village. Either sub has the street over from it, or a block from where it starts has 3-4-5 burned houses on each block. A few blocks from indian village are illegal side yard squatting junk yard. There is a yard with an illegal 9 ft tall fence made of corrugated steel steel like a shanty town. There is all sorts of no doubt stolen steel and metal in a residential street.

          There is high grass everywhere, and even the first couple blocks of indian village, the people do a bad job keeping their homes up. There are broken windows, dirty windows, leaning garages, yards filled with debris piles and busted up cement. Falling over porches, and lawns with no grass, just weeds that are mowed.

          Where exactly do you live in detroit, that is nice, and kercehval in GP is a wasteland ?

          • new_detroit

            It’s the same stuff you can see in any small town in the US. Indian Village is 100X more interesting. I don’t see photographers from all over the world coming to photo GP.

          • Oberyn_Martell

            Indian Village is a couple of blocks of beautiful old homes. GP has plenty of beautiful homes from the same era. Probably more.

          • Mariano_H

            substantially more. Large and small. The nice houses original are only three streets, and three blocks. Then they get more middle class and are rental homes for decades, poorly kept up etc. The entire south end of GP is all homes from the teens, many larger, almost all are kept up better. Thousands and thousands of homes.

          • Mariano_H

            The same families built the same houses in both area, using the same builders. More interesting how? Because the old money moved out in the 50s and 60s at the latest if not many in the 20s and 30s? More blacks makes it interesting?

            Is it maybe the same politics you are letting get int he way. Its not the houses, the houses in GP are more numerous, and kept up much better. So it has to be race or politics, your hate is showing.

          • new_detroit

            They’re more interesting because of the rundown state they’re in. It’s almost like a ghost town. It’s a very unique and interesting situation.

          • Oberyn_Martell

            Oh good another ruin porn fan. You like places to be in a state of decay. Just more of what we need around here. If that’s what draws photographers from around the world I’m not sad they don’t flock to GP.

          • new_detroit

            I do admit to liking it and that it’s not for everyone. It is very unique though and it is what draws the photographers.

          • Oberyn_Martell

            You don’t get it. What’s not for everybody is living in a tough city and making ends meet. Getting off on the misery of a once great city and thinking it’s cool to see it’s ruins is BS. I had dinner at Craft Work tonight and I wasn’t excited by ghostly ruins. I loved that a long struggling part of my city had some life. So stop talking about things you have no knowledge of and go somehwer else. We have enough gawkers here we want people who want to make things better. Fuque you with your fascination of poverty.

          • new_detroit

            I like how I say: This is my preference, I know it’s not for everybody.

            And you say: Anyone that doesn’t think like me should GTFO, we don’t want your kind here.

            You attitude is exactly the cultural wasteland I was referring to. A healthy city has myriad opinions and we shouldn’t be telling people to leave or blocking off streets because they differ from our own.

          • Oberyn_Martell

            We love a myriad of people here but the ones who like poverty and think that’s what is cool we don’t need you here. If you like the energy and opportunity afforded great. But if you think it’s cool to come here to photograph poverty we have a thousand like you. Try again.

          • new_detroit

            Unfortunately for you, you don’t get to pick and choose what people like. You SHOULD be accepting of what others believe though, otherwise you come across as ignorant.

          • Oberyn_Martell

            You assume I care what I come across as. You need to look at yourself. You think a road closure is sad but don’t think twice about thinking it is cool to bask in a family’s misfortune. A family who probably lost everything and couldn’t even feed their children created that abandoned home. You’re right I don’t choose but that doesn’t mean we don’t need people like you around. Self righteous loser that you are.

          • new_detroit

            That’s a past I had nothing to do with. Now it’s a unique cityscape. If you want the present to succeed, you need to adopt a more open attitude. You’re going to chase away a new generation of potential Detroiters with your backwards thinking.

          • Oberyn_Martell

            If I chase away you and people like you I won’t be so sad. Go look at my responses to you and you should be able to tell that I’m pro Detroit and as I said I welcome all types but people who revel in the woes are no good to me. All of those abandoned homes have allowed criminals to operate and terrorize families who choose to stick it out. I prefer to see them fixed up and filled up not an interesting backdrop for photograph that is long past played out. Any real Detroiter feels the same. They don’t want to feel like animals at the zoo that people pay “urban tourism guides” to come through their neighborhoods and take super hip cool pictures of the destitution surrounding their lives. They want to live where the lights come on and police show up when they are called. By the way these lovely women who live in Detroit and work at one of the urban farming co ops sell produce at that market and are quite thrilled with having permanent stalls that more people will frequent. They didn’t find it so hard to drive down Jefferson and come up a oh no residential street! Sounds like a damn shame.

          • new_detroit

            I live in Detroit, so that’s “real” enough for me. Do you even live here or are you pontificating from afar?

            I’ve not once been terrorized. You’re way over blowing the danger level. It’s not dangerous here and you’re being ignorant yet again to say it is.

          • Oberyn_Martell

            No I live in Baltimore you idiot. Also I’m speaking of specific blighted communities of course there are plenty of places where it isn’t dangerous. Doesn’t make my comment untrue.

          • Dust Buster

            well he isnt being ignorant or paranoid, he is being a realist. and your claim of safety (didnt you just move here recently?) is like someone bragging that they dont use a seat belt in their car and they have never been hurt…… it doesnt mean safety belts are a waste, it just means your number didnt come up yet.

          • Dust Buster

            chase them away? if they are such pussies that they get butt hurt over some stupid building or roundabout that some other city built then they probably couldnt hang here anyways.

          • Dust Buster

            ahhhhhh there it is…. the old standby lecture someone on what THEY need to like or think then lable them IGNORANT when it doesnt dovetail with your ideas.

            transparent as hell but well played. you win the innerwebz

          • Dust Buster

            wonder what goodies are in the canal behind the manoogian?

    • Mariano_H

      You do not get it. GP or any town for that matter runs its own town. It is not run for the convenience of the next town over.

      The real issue here is freedom. Not traffic. I already informed you on the other page since you are an out of towner and not familiar with the way things run in the pointes, I assure you there were traffic studies run on this, it was discussed at public meetings etc. Stuff like this is talked about for years before anything happens. They will gladly spend $20,000 just to have the info processed by an expert.

      You have a duty to explain how making 6 dead ends is inappropriate. Your word not mine.

      Show me where your info supports there is so much traffic they need to unblock other roads. Are you aware all through out this country, people live on hills, and even mountains, and whole communities travel from one town to the next on a single road?

      Your full of it. You are a bleeding heart, this is racial to you, you think you can be a hero opposing this. End of story.

      Lastly list the things in detroit that detroit needs approval from all neighboring communities before implementing. List when they did this in the past.

      • new_detroit

        I’ve lived in a ton of cities. I’ve NEVER seen a town wall off another town like this. It’s the Detroit metro area, all one big place only you and a few others are making such a harsh distinction between the city and the burbs. It’s weird and I don’t understand it.

        • Mariano_H

          its not a wall. Its a round about. The others are no different then a cul de sac. maybe you think there is a wall involved at any of these 6 cross streets. Nope. Just a regular curb. Some have some small bushes with a path through them. Others are literally just a curb. It is to stop cars, not people. Any person could walk there just as quickly as when it was an open street.

          • Mariano_H

            and if you were old, and had to drive, going 25 mph going to the next cross street is 1/4 mile and less then a minute if you have to double back and go to a stop sign or two.

          • Dust Buster

            wait you lost me… i need to turn how much? screw that its too much trouble and i cant even cope ill just tell all my friends to never go there ever because of this

          • Dust Buster

            but what if someone from detroit, especially an at risk vulnerable one that maybe cant pay their water bill (note i said cant and not wont) what if they bump one of those curbs and it blows out a tire on their worn out car? lets say it bends the rim too. this is the kind of systematized disenfranchisement these fat cats in gp dont tell you about..

            deliberately setting out to destroy the vehicles of our most vulnerable citizens at a time when even water is out of reach for many. i just find this entire over sized curbs with spikes on them to be very similar to a moat which is what royalty built around their castles.

            whats next for god sakes erecting a guard tower with an armed guard with orders to shoot anyone that doesnt “look” like they live in gp? first belle isle and now this. i will be contacting the regional director of the welfare rights and freedom to travel association.

            we will be having a protest starting at belle isle. we plan to have at least 20 people. we will sing and march down to that barn and those curbs and demand they be deconstructed. we will be giving out $20 target gift cards and dont be worried if you cant spell afsme and the socialist united coffee shop consortium will have pre printed signs and activist volunteers that dont live in detroit to help with signs and spelling

          • BobNB

            Nope, this is a roundabout:

            They don’t impede anything.

      • Oberyn_Martell

        Additionally the other closures would not even affect the flow disrupted by this one. They come from totally different areas.

    • curious

      New detroit. Check your map and look at Victoria park by Dickerson south of Jefferson. 7 streets closed. Just one entry point with a guard house. Completely surrounded by an iron fence. Hailed as economic progress when built. Good for the goose?

      • new_detroit

        I didn’t live here when that was constructed so can’t comment on it. If it was a bad idea (I’m honestly not familiar with it) I would certainly have complained. My allegiance is to common sense not any gov/town.

        I hear a lot of people using stuff like this as an excuse. Is GP’s attitude really based that much on retaliation against perceived Detroit slights?

        • Mariano_H

          its not retaliation. I have suggested it on here. I have seen others suggest it on there, I have see it on facebook, metro times etc.

          The fact no one objected to it when it was built means it was ok. Which means it is ok for everyone, and everywhere.

          Why can’t you get that through your thick head ?

          You are so damn emotional, its impossible to talk to you. Common sense says doing the same thing in two different places does not result in two different outcomes. THAT IS COMMON SENSE !

          You are all race, voting blocks, guilt, hate, religion, sex. You do not care about common sense. You have no common sense. You decide things emotionally, that is very clear.

          • new_detroit

            I’ve not ONCE mentioned race. You keep doing it though. I never said the previous closures were a good thing either.

            All I’ve said, and I’ll repeat: It’s dumb to block off roads.

            I’ll add: for reasons I don’t understand some locals seem to get very emotional about that statement and start spouting garbage about race…

  • Paul Sewick

    Those GIS maps are only outlining properties based on their tax address and don’t show the actual border. The border has been defined as being 200 feet from the center of Alter Drive. It runs through the back yards of the houses on Wayburn and just barely clears the back of the barn. Research Detroit’s annexation of Fairview in 1907 for the details.

  • “Here is the border as defined by city and U.S. government maps:”

    When you say city and U.S. Government maps, what do you mean? Which city? Detroit? Sterling Heights? Which department of the U.S. Government? NOAA or the USGS?

    If you’re going to point fingers, you need to be more precise.

    Also, you’re kind of treating Dan like a dick in this article. He’s a good dude.

    • Mariano_H

      I think the point was to be vague so you can’t verify it, but sound official so as to be damning. Translation. Officially racist!

  • Fred

    Dan Grano is an honorable person and his comments deserve respect

  • Mariano_H

    also interesting might be have thigs surveyor friend with a plane or time to spend on google examine other towns that have dead end streets. Examine old streets from times when these areas were homogeneous and all white, and blacks left them dead end. Show new post civil rights era streets that are dead end and the racial implications.

    I am curious how people will examine these sort of things when you take out the black vs white, rich vs poor, dem vs republican, detroit vs hostile burbs.

    How will you explain it away when its two middle class white burbs right next to each other, built in 1973 in say a part of warren or frazier or sterling heights etc when it was ALL WHITE !

  • Mariano_H

    I just hope when Detroit signs off on this as being ok, and not illegal, not overstepping etc, that there are multiple follow up articles.

    This will also nicely illustrate the readership is pilelin’ on and a bunch of racists when a follow up article has 7 comments and not 180 comments.

    After that I would like to see a series of articles on the gated communities inside the city of Detroit and their racial implications.