“2:30 a.m., drunk as phuk, eatin’ shroomz,” reads one of the hundreds of pieces of graffiti that cover this former medical clinic at 7036 W. Jefferson in the industrial neighborhood of Delray in southwest Detroit. Many of the other artworks on the building boast similar activities, and the piles of broken liquor bottles and empty chip bags surrounding it confirm its primary function.
Walking inside, however, it’s clear that attracting late-night partyers is hardly this building’s biggest problem. Two cars, a stripped Jeep Grand Cherokee and a burned-out something or other sit near the entrance.
“This is an area where people get rid of their stolen problems,” says Bob Evans, co-owner of Kovac’s bar next door to the former clinic.
Evans is so concerned about the building that when we asked him about it, he produced a file with a detailed (and convoluted) history. To summarize, it was built in 1975 by the now-defunct Southwest Detroit Hospital. Since then, it has changed hands a number of times and is now owned by activist group Delray Action, which may or may not have once planned to convert it into a retirement home. Evans says a local businessman recently made a bid to purchase the clinic and convert it into a storage facility but was turned down.
City officials say that, although the building has been placed on the demolition list, because of the higher costs associated with clearing commercial properties such as this, no demolition date has been set.
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