Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Update: Artists Lofts Evictee Gives POV

Remember this?

Awhile back, we posted about the Capitol Park Artists Lofts at 1217 Griswold in downtown Detroit. New owner Dan Gilbert (who has bought just about everything downtown) was evicting the residents and planning to renovate the building. The building is in serious need of repairs and is currently violating housing codes. However, the residents being evicted are artistic types who used a lot of imagination decorating their seedy lofts.

Evictees? Just visiting?  This might be Gustav and Andrew.

I can now give you the evictee's perspective, courtesy of a blog post:

There’s no other place like this gruesome paradise, where you can pay $500 a month for a 2500-square-foot loft just outside the Financial District and run a boisterous-a-- venue out of it. There's no other place where you can take acid on a Friday, go run around in an apocalyptic world, come down, do s----y coke, drink s----y coffee, ride a snowmobile downtown to go see Carl Craig, or Erika, or someone cool like that, then come to again, get chased by a pack of stray dogs, die, take a vitamin B supplement, eat a taco in your sleep, have your shoelaces come untied, keep on partying, do a line of Ambien, and finally realize it’s 3PM on a Tuesday and you're late for work.

Another layer of sorrow is that when we are gone, Dan Gilbert plans to turn this building and the entire Capitol Park area into a “new arts district,” so that the trophy wives of Bloomfield Hills' computer industry moguls can make friggin clay cups on pottery wheels every other weekend.

The irony is unbearable; kick people like us out to make room for people "like us."


The author (actually two residents who have named their apartment "Adult Contemporary) lives a very different, more adventurous life than yours truly.  Probably different than yours, too.  I think it is interesting to get their perspective, if only to get a glimpse into their world.  It's also worth considering that the re-birth of housing downtown (which we have also discussed at length here) means that people already living there may not be able to afford staying there.  Marginal income people are being forced, one building at a time, to leave downtown or to move into the remaining neglected buildings.

Dan Gilbert

We'll let Gustav and Andrew have the last word:

If gentrification is going to happen, Detroit deserves a kinder, gentler and more enlightened brand of it. Let us never forget that a whole lot of weird, freaky, amazing, and beautiful human individuals were gathered in dark and neglected spaces to bring light to this city, long before the big money came to town.

Original Post:
Metro Times on the evictions:
Evicted Perspective: