“Why are you bothering with this? Half the city is like this,” says a Highland Park city employee to a resident as he picks up a demolition request form from a resident who wants the eyesore at 115-117 E. Buena Vista razed. The resident, who does not want to be identified, tells the Abandoned Structure Squad he has filed four or five such requests and hasn’t yet received a response. He says that the two-story multi-family home has been abandoned for at least 15 years and has since become a hotbed for, ahem, shall we say “suspicious” activity. Officials at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, which has patrolled Highland Park since the cash-strapped city dismantled its own police department in early 2002, say they have not received any complaints about the building.
Fred Durhal, Highland Park’s interim economic development administrator on loan from the state, says things may be looking up for this neighborhood. According to Durhal, the city is negotiating with a developer interested in building homes on E. Buena Vista. Though he doesn’t want to offer any specifics about the plan, he says that neighbors should expect to see this building demolished within six months.
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