DETROIT (FOX 2) - Despite the talk of Detroit's resurgence and its milestones celebrated, several parts of the city are still plagued with blight.
All the more reason to cheer as progress continues.
"We will not have crack being stored in those buildings. We will not have all this illegal activity. We will not house the addicts and homeless that wander off on Michigan Avenue," said Jennifer Williams.
Jennifer lives on Detroit's southwest side and has never been more thrilled to see walls, brick and sheet-wall come down.
"You guys just don't know what this is doing for me," she said.
In the shadow of downtown Detroit on Michigan Avenue, a building has sat empty for 15 years. Well, empty except for drug pushers and prostitutes who would come by as school kids walked by. Gayanga, a demolition team and Detroit success story, was given the contract to bring down the building. More than 80 percent of the men and women hired by the contractor are from Detroit, including Eric Cox.
"It's time to go out with the old, decrepit look and bring in the new. If you ride around Detroit, they're renovating Detroit. It's time for a change," he said.
"When I ride around the neighborhoods and I show my kids and said we tore that down and we tore this down, the feeling as they look at you and say 'wow you did that?'" Cox said. "Of course I take all the credit and say 'oh yeah I did.' But it's awesome."
The man who brought Gayanga to Detroit four years ago is proud that Detroiters hands are the ones bringing down an eyesore and threat to the community. He lived in Houston and decided to come home to his native Detroit.
"Nine times out of 10, when you see an operator operating machinery, he's also Detroiters, our laborers, our engineering staff. We think it's important that we are inclusive that as the city grows that the people who are here have to grow as well so we like to be that example to show yes there are Detroiters who are working. I will continue to do our small part of a much bigger piece," Brian McKinney said.
The bigger pieces being taken down today is cause for celebration. Jennifer Williams went home, bought ice cream and handed it out. It was a farewell party for a building without any tears, ust water soaking the debris of what used to be a symbol of what is still troubling the city.
"To say that we can come in the middle of this instruction and tear down one building, it means when you're on your way, we got it going and this makes me want to stay in my city," she said.