Detroit riverside property inspection blitz brings nearly $200,000 in blight fines

February 12, 2020, 10:49 AM

Riverfront industrial properties and docks were an unchecked enforcement blind spot until recently, acknowledges the City of Detroit. It scrambled to change that after a waterside collapse at Detroit Bulk Storage Inc. sent construction aggretate into the river last fall.

Crain's Detroit Business follows up on what an inspection blitz found:

City of Detroit inspectors have found concerning seawall and waterfront conditions across the length of Detroit's riverfront after a dock collapse at a contaminated riverside site. ...

The city has inspected all 152 properties along the Detroit River in the wake of the aggregate spill near Historic Fort Wayne and issued about $195,000 in fines for more than 500 blight violations on five plots of land. The wave of inspections came amid environmental groups' calls for action. ...

"We're going to have to shore a lot of them up," [Mayor Mike] Duggan said of property along the city's waterfront.

A state technician takes river samples last month at the Detroit Bulk Storage site that collapsed in November.
(Photo: Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy)

Businesses fined include the Roostertail event space on Marquette Drive.

Up to four inspectors checked seawalls and docks in December and January, Jessica Knight, chief enforcement officer for Detroit's Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED), tells Annlise Frank of Crain's.

They looked for sinkholes, erosion, seawall shifting, storage of heavy materials near the shore and other potential risks, Knight said.

As of [last] Thursday, BSEED had issued more than 500 tickets to five properties for property maintenance violations on coastal lots including unlawful storage of items outside commercial buildings, failure to maintain the premises, lack of certificate of compliance, unlawful occupancy of buildings and unsafe conditions.

Crain's lists violators and fines:

  • Revere Dock and Detroit Bulk Storage, 5851 W. Jefferson Ave.: $83,180 in fines

  • Detroit Marine Terminals, Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority and Ambassador Port Co., 4461 W. Jefferson Ave.: $81,200 in fines

  • Waterfront Terminal Holdings, 5601-5701 W. Jefferson Ave.: $28,000 in fines at site of the former Revere Copper and Brass firm, now home to Waterfront Petroleum Terminal Co.

  • Kean's Marina, 100 Meadowbrook St.: $1,350 in fines to the owner, Industrial Consolidators Inc.

  • Roostertail, 100 Marquette Dr.: $1,405 in fines to the popular venue owned by Tom Schoenith

Read more:  Crain's Detroit Business

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