By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker
The long-abandoned Marie Apartments in the Cass Corridor was demolished Monday to make way for condos, a high-end restaurant and an office for the developer.
The three-story, 92-year-old brick building, which was on the same block as Honest John’s on Selden, came down to cheers from neighbors who complained about the city-owned apartment for more than a decade. The roof and some of the floors had collapsed, and the facade was crumbling.
In December, the city sold the property to Detroit-based Ferlito Group LLC for $19,700. As part of the development agreement, Ferlito Group has two years to construct the new building.
The $4 million plan calls for a dozen for-sale condos, a high-end restaurant and an office for Ferlito Group inside a modern, 22,000-square-foot building.
The price tag on the condos has not been determined, but each unit is expected to have two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
As a crew demolished the brick building Monday, a family of raccoons scurried to the roof. But demolition never stopped, and the raccoons plummeted from the third floor. Two died, and another limped away.
The redevelopment project is just the latest underway in the Cass Corridor, which is undergoing rapid change. Rents are rising, and lower-income people are being displaced by higher-income people.
Just a block from the demolished building is the Selden Standard, a high-end restaurant that opened in a building that had been abandoned and covered in graffiti. It was named restaurant of the year by Hour Detroit and the Free Press.
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.