Help on way for downtown coffee shop forced to use water from hydrant

1515 Broadway
This is how water is provided to 1515 Broadway and Simmons & Clark Jewelers. (Steve Neavling/MCM)

A downtown coffee shop and adjacent jewelry store that have been depending on water from a fire hydrant will soon see relief, Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration said Tuesday.

A crew on Wednesday will begin removing bricks and masonry that are hanging loosely from the Wurlitzer high-rise next door on Broadway Street, said mayoral spokesman John Roach.

“Once the site is safe for workers, the (water) main can be either repaired or replaced within a few days,” Roach told me.

Roach said he expects regular water service to be restored to 1515 Broadway and Simmons & Clark Jewelers by the end of the month.

WurlitzerThe Wurlitzer is owned by Wayne County Circuit Judge Daphne Mean Curtis and her husband Paul Curtis, who owe more than $20,000 in delinquent taxes, property records show. The city finally took the couple to court in November 2011, but Wayne County Judge Robert Colombo has done little to ensure the building is safe.

Colombo finally responded after the city filed a motion late last month, and the judge ordered the Curtises to remove the dangerous bricks and masonry.

“DWSD and DPW are meeting on Thursday to determine whether the water service will be repaired in the alley or connected to the line out front in the street,” Roach said. “It has been common in such cases to move water lines out of alleys to separate it from other utilities and reduce the potential for damage caused by work on the other utilities.”

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.