DETROIT (WJBK) - The Duggan administration celebrated a big milestone Tuesday, as the 10,000th building was demolished under the city's blight removal program.
"It's been an incredible learning process but nobody in America has begun to try to address blight at the rate that we have," says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
Its a major moment for the Duggan administration. After years of knocking down blighted properties one parcel at a time, Tuesday marked a huge milestone. Mayor Mike Duggan, city leaders and, of course, neighbors who have been living next to the eyesore watched as it got leveled and savoured the new scenery.
"It's been a long time coming for Mr. Jones and his wife across the street. They've labored long and so we said we were coming and we kept our promise," says Stephanie jones-depot of neighborhoods district 1 manager
"It makes me feel good to see it come down because its that has been embarrassing to me and the neighborhood," says neighbor Jimmy Jones. "That and the rest of 'em."
The vacant home at 14097 Marlow Street on the cities west side is the 10,000th to come down since the mayor's blight program first began some two and a half years ago.
It's all part of an effort to clean up area neighborhoods and make them safer for those who call them home.
"The house behind us and approximately 40,000 copies are a form of child abuse, to allow our children to grow up around this trash is, quite frankly, a disgrace," says John George with the Motor City Blight Busters. "Together, collectively, we must do all that we can to not only remove this, but to restore, rebuild, beautify and create the kind of Detroit we deserve."
The blight program has seen its fair share of accolades but in recent weeks it's also become the focus of a federal probe - specifically the bidding process and the rising demolision costs - following a Charlie LeDuff investigation. The mayor says he cannot comment on the investigation right now.
"It took us a while to really get the hang of this I won't say we are perfect but we are working more efficiently than anyone else in the country," Duggan says.
Crews also demolished house number 10,001 just a few doors down. We're told enough funding is secured to level 5,000 properties this year and another 6,000 next year.