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Old 12-31-2016, 09:32 PM
 
41 posts, read 23,719 times
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I have never been to Detroit. I have seen and heared there are large areas of it that are open fields. Would it be possible to say buy a 5 acres in these abandoned neighborhoods plop a pre fabricated home down and live small farm town rural lifestyle in the middle of the city? I think that would be really cool. I'm worried about safety, I read a story about how these rural areas in the D can be very dangerous for the few residents that live there. Also I'm white and speak with a southern accent so I know people would notice me, remember me, and know I'm not from there.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,930,463 times
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Calling parts of Detroit "rural" is a pretty big stretch of the word. Even at 670,000 people, you're still looking at 4,700 people per square mile. Sure, some of these areas are probably closer to 12,000/sq.mi. and others closer to 2,500/sq.mi. - but Troy is 2,500 people per square mile and I don't think anyone would call parts of Troy rural.

I don't think the open areas in Detroit are what's dangerous, not even for white people with drawls . What I would say is dangerous are the abandoned structures that breed illegal activity and often house heavy drug users. That being said, these Urban Prairie neighborhoods are typically full of abandoned structures, at their edges. Most declined neighborhoods in Detroit decline in a spotty pattern. A house or two here, a house or two there, a few get knocked down, another goes abandoned, maybe a whole block gets razed, but the next block over starts to blight, then squatters come in, etc... It's pretty rare to have entire large plots of land where you have empty space on a stark border with healthy used space (Note, there are lots of healthy neighborhoods in Detroit) and in those instances developers buy them. What you're more likely to find in a best case scenario are 10 or 12 empty lots together, surrounded by lots with a few nice homes, a few abandoned homes, and a few empty land bank lots scattered between that nobody is interested in.

That's why the redevelopment of Detroit proper isn't something that can happen overnight. If what you were describing existed (5 acres of continuous land), someone would buy it fast and develop it into something like City Modern that's going up in the Brush Park neighborhood. If there were more places like that, there would be lots of people investing into the city because it actually makes good sense to buy a 5 acre development in the middle of an existing metro of 4.5 million people; however, getting someone to develop the more typical empty space in the midst of spotted empty lots and old houses isn't happening, because it makes more financial sense to take your money to the suburbs and build a fancy new home in one of the many expensive suburban neighborhoods, or go to the exurbs and buy up someones old farm for McMansions. That being said, it is happening, such as in this article, but I believe it's more of an experimental city initiative thing - not a tried and proven venture that anyone could advise you on at this point.

Last edited by Geo-Aggie; 01-01-2017 at 10:51 AM..
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Here.
14,543 posts, read 13,269,944 times
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I have to disagree with Geo-Aggie. There are countless 5 acre tracts of land available. I know a guy who bought a whole abandoned city block way back in the 1990s. True, the whole city isn't like this; some areas have barely any abandonment.

I've considered doing what you, NattyDaddy, have proposed. A few things holding me back:

-the need for a formidable fence, probably with barbed wire. Not sure I would enjoy living in such confinement.
-the need for extensive security camera system. Not insurmountable, but an added expense.
-the need for personal protection and willingness to use it. I am not a gun owner and even if I was, I hate to think I would have to use one. But it is inevitable that I would be robbed/burglarized.
-the need to be home a considerable amount of time to defend my property. My job won't allow this.
-the need for guard dogs. I'm not a big dog lover.
-the willingness to pay the other costs of crime: theft, bullet-holed windows, higher homeowners insurance, higher car insurance
-the risk I would take whenever I am cutting the lawn, working outdoors, taking the garbage out, driving somewhere at night, etc.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that Detroit is so bad that you will be victimized on a daily or weekly basis. But your chances are so much greater than if you were living out in the country on a 5 acre lot. And it would be a heck of a lot cheaper and less hassle living out there.
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Here.
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Here is a vacant land map from 8 years ago:

https://detroitography.files.wordpre...yrate_linn.jpg
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Here.
14,543 posts, read 13,269,944 times
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Some of my dreams and fantasies:

To restore this home, buy the whole block, and turn it into a little private park with trees and gardens: https://binged.it/2in1y8j

Buy this old school (Alexander Hamilton) and a few surrounding blocks and turn it into a palace. Turn the majority of the school into a museum or maybe horse stables. Even has a course in the front yard. haha! https://binged.it/2imUYi3 I like the tower on the other side.

Buy a block or a few in this area next to the airport. Have my own plane, build a taxiway from my home to the runway. I'm sure that would require minimal paperwork. https://binged.it/2imZWv8

It would be cool to live across from this building (Sacred Heart Seminary) https://binged.it/2hDPxHm There is a good sized lot across the street.

Another palace fantasy: Buy this Independence Hall look-a-like. https://binged.it/2in62eY Tear down the factory behind it, turn it into a farm.

Buy this abandoned church (St. Stanislas) and a few surrounding blocks. Another palace concept. https://binged.it/2imR2xD

Last edited by Retroit; 01-01-2017 at 01:41 PM.. Reason: repair links
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,930,463 times
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I still believe that an available 5 acre continuous lot within the City of Detroit is rare, if not non-existent. I'm willing to be shown otherwise, but a search on Zillow for 2+ Acre lots:
Detroit MI Land & Lots For Sale - 6 Listings | Zillow

shows 4 lots above 2 acres within Detroit City limits (two of the results are definitely not in Detroit). Three are near Grand River/Davidson/Jeffries area, statistically one of the highest crime neighborhoods in the nation, and the other is near Mack and Conner - not the worst, not the best, fairly industrial and probably the type of lot that would have the MDEQ and MDARD all over you, if you were to try and grow potatoes there.

The reality is that most "abandoned" areas within Detroit look like

This Northeast neighborhood

or this area near Core City

or this are east of Forest Park

There are certainly a handful of larger continuous areas approaching and exceeding 5 acres, but if they were in desirable or semi-stable areas, they'd already be owned by an investor. Most of the abandoned parts of the cities have houses (either occupied or not) pockmarked within them, serving as a deterrent to large-scale development, and often the owner has no reason or desire to move, so without eminent domain or an investor with deep pockets, the neighborhood just sits empty except for a handful of houses. I do hope what's going on in Brush Park can become a blueprint for future redevelopments, but I fear that the demand for upscale living right between Downtown and Midtown just doesn't match the demand for any sort of living in Ravendale or Brightmoor. I could see it happening in Core City or Forest Park though.
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Michigan
4,571 posts, read 7,263,228 times
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Short answer is no.

Even if you can find enough contiguous vacant space, it's 99.9% likely you'll have neighbors all around you be they businesses or residents. Detroit is empty by big city standards (because it was once a very crowded big city), but it is the farthest thing from rural no matter where you are in the city.
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Here.
14,543 posts, read 13,269,944 times
Reputation: 17013
Much of the land is city owned and will not be found on Zillow.

Search Results | Summit Commercial LLC[],PropertyType,UseType,SalePrice,LeasePrice,Size,Sa leLease|gs=1|h=|tl=Page%201|hid=0|
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Detroit Suburbs , MI
157 posts, read 108,708 times
Reputation: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
Buy this abandoned church (St. Stanislas) and a few surrounding blocks. Another palace concept. https://binged.it/2imR2xD
St Stanislas is not abandoned anymore. Somebody else bought it!!

Time to act on the others on the list

http://detroit.curbed.com/2014/4/11/...s-for-just-45k
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Here.
14,543 posts, read 13,269,944 times
Reputation: 17013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomz View Post
St Stanislas is not abandoned anymore. Somebody else bought it!!

Time to act on the others on the list

http://detroit.curbed.com/2014/4/11/...s-for-just-45k
Well, they are doing a poor job of maintaining it. That big hole in the rose window on the south(west) side has got to be doing some damage within. And the old burnt out rectory has been sitting there for several years now.
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