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Sorry, sorry sight

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It’s a dismal scene. Many windows are broken, with glass shards littering the hallways beneath. Some doors leading inside are missing locks. Recently, a car crashed into the side of a perimeter brick wall, caving part of it in. Young children tool around on bicycles, meanwhile, as residents sit by and stare impassively.

Welcome to the Warren Plaza Apartments, a 342-unit brick complex News Hits visited briefly last week before being asked to leave by manager Daniel Musinski. “I had heard from some of the residents that you were bothering them,” he said.

If only Musinski and the owners of the complex, Matrix Management of Livonia, were able to dispatch the other problems facing residents of Warren Plaza as efficiently as he was able to take care of a pesky reporter.

Warren City Council members James Fouts, Mary Kamp and Carolyn Moceri all say they have been pushing the city for years to do something about problems at the complex. Now, with frustration mounting among residents, the call for action is becoming more urgent.

Warren Deputy Mayor Mike Greiner says the city is addressing the issue. “We are looking up legal action against them,” he says. “There are problems.”

For his part, Musinski says his company has “made some changes on the maintenance staff,” and is planning on working with the city to address problems at the complex, located near 10 Mile and Hoover, one mile south of I-696.

“We’re going to make some changes,” Musinski says.

Despite his concern that News Hits was “bothering” residents, Musinski blames many of the problems on the renters. “Some of this stuff is tenant abuse,” he says. “We’ll fix a window and they’ll break it.”

There are no doubt problem tenants. News Hits saw two police cruisers pass through during our brief visit. “It’s a trouble spot in the city, and it takes considerable resources,” says Police Commissioner James Vohs. “We need more patrols there.”

Deputy Mayor Greiner says that so far this year city police have responded to 200 calls at the complex.

Tenants at Warren Plaza pay from $490 a month for single-bedroom apartments to $630 a month for two-bedroom apartments. Given the condition News Hits saw during our abbreviated tour, the pads are anything but a bargain. Water damage from leaks is visible, and there’s no shortage of bugs. Trash is strewn inside and out.

Resident Crystal Bowan, 21, a babysitter and Detroit native, is far from happy with her living situation. “It’s ghetto,” she says. “I moved out here thinking it was going to be better.”

Bowan says that management ignored her complaints. She says, for example, that she ended up patching holes in the walls of her apartment.

Jeanine Ewing, another former Detroiter, has only lived at Warren Plaza since January but is already looking for new digs. The final straw, she says, came two weeks ago when her 10-year-old daughter, JaNee, fell down a flight of stairs, cutting herself on broken glass. She required 17 stitches.

“I’m ready to move,” says Ewing, who works at a nearby McDonald’s.

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