Scott Lowell, owner of Traffic Jam & Snug restaurant, bought the Blackstone Hotel on Second Avenue near Wayne State University and is evicting tenants so he can convert the dilapidated structure into an apartment building. We reported last week that some neighborhood supporters of Lowell were upset with FOX 2 for its coverage of the issue. At press time, lawyers representing the tenants hadn’t returned our calls.
Now, as Paul Harvey says, the rest of the story.
Lawyer Bob Day of Legal Aid (which was alerted to the situation by FOX 2) sued Lowell last week, accusing him of wrongly trying to oust residents. Day asked for an injunction to force Lowell to turn on the heat, gas and hot water. Lowell, who informed us of the suit, said he can’t comment because of it. Last week, he said he can’t turn on the utilities because he believes the building is unsafe.
Meanwhile, residents of the Blackstone are mad as hell. Bruce McDonald, a 56-year-old retired social worker who drives charter buses, told News Hits that residents simply want “ample time to get the hell out of here.” His girlfriend, Yvette Taylor, thinks they’ve been treated badly. “We’re black. We’re low income. They want to say we’re alcoholics and drug addicts and prostitutes. They think we’re stupid,” she says.Lisa M. Collins contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or firstname.lastname@example.org