This is a response from Garlin Gilchrist II to Charlie LeDuff's column in Deadline Detroit headlined Screw You, Detroit! Whitmer's Pick Lets House Go to Hell. The columnist writes about a blighted home Gilchrist purchased, which remains in disrepair. Gilchrist is running for lieutenant governor on the Democratic ticket with Gretchen Whitmer.
It has been a struggle to secure a loan."
Two years after my family moved back to Detroit, I purchased the apartment building on Marston. I planned to rehabilitate the property from its significant fire damage and rent out its eight, one-bedroom apartments. I committed to this project because North End has personal significance to my childhood.
I have been working to secure financing for the project since purchasing it because I knew significant work needed to be done. Because I wanted to begin quickly, I began to deal with the building’s immediate problems and work to make it structurally sound before finalizing that financing.
I exhausted my personal resources to demolish the building interior, remove the collapsing rear balcony and staircase, repair the significant damage to the leaking roof, install main line plumbing, install new windows, and level the building by raising it eight inches. I also hired an architect to draw plans for the building and initiate the permitting process for construction.
That said, the apartment building is not in the state that I want it to be in, even with the significant progress that has been made thus far. I have been in communication with the Land Bank staff throughout this process about the building status.
It has been a struggle to secure a loan to complete the project, in part due to my pursuits of elected office in 2017 and now again in 2018. I remain committed to securing the financing, ending the holding pattern that this project has been in, and bringing the apartment building renovation to completion as soon as possible.