Demolition by neglect: Once-beautiful home razed in Cass Corridor

After years of neglect, a once-beautiful home was demolished Friday along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the Cass Corridor.

The owner, Bogdan Tarasov, who operates the Bucharest Grill restaurant chain, received a city permit for an emergency demolition after a private engineering firm determined the house was in danger of collapsing.

Historic photo of the house. Date unknown.

The emergency permit allowed the demolition to occur without the state-mandated removal of asbestos, which causes mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs.

Big plumes of tan dust wafted through the area at MLK and Second, much of it settling on a low-income apartment next door. By state law, demolition crews are required to spray buildings with water to limit airborne dust. One crew member was using a hose.

A year ago, Motor City Muckraker revealed that the house and rear building were shedding bricks and serving as makeshift dens for drug addicts and prostitutes. Exposed heroin needles, used condoms and broken glass were strewn across the property.

Tarasov has not returned calls for comment.

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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.