By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker
Tucked behind a large vacant house in the Cass Corridor is a two-story building that serves as a makeshift prostitution and drug den.
When it snows, a well-worn path of footprints leads to the building, where people can be seen going in and out at ease. Used needles, handmade crack pipes, condoms and liquor bottles are often strewn across the property and inside the building at Martin Luther King Jr. and Second.
When the weather is warmer, children and their families flock to a park on Brainard Street behind the building to play basketball and have picnics.
The building is adjacent to a low-income housing apartment called the “King Arms Hotel,” which is home to five registered sex offenders, according to the Michigan State Police registry.
The vacant building is owned by Calvin Bruning, according to property records.
Despite the local media’s obsession to rebrand the Cass Corridor as “Midtown,” the area is still riddled with crime. In a three-block area surrounding the drug den, more than three dozen violent crimes have been reported since Jan. 1, according to records from Detroit and Wayne State University police. Those include stabbings, armed robberies, a kidnapping and a shooting.
Here’s a look inside and outside the building:
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.
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