Neighbors unhappy about Democrat’s blighted Detroit building
DETROIT (AP) — Neighbors are complaining about a blighted apartment building that was bought on the cheap by Michigan’s Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and remains a vacant eyesore two years later.
Garlin Gilchrist II acknowledged Friday that he owns the building in Detroit and has been struggling to find loans to fix it. Part of the problem: He said he’s been busy running for two public offices since 2017.
The eight-unit building has no back door and the littered yard has an unfilled sewage trench, Deadline Detroit reported. Gilchrist bought the property in 2016 from the Detroit Land Bank Authority for $13,500, benefiting from a 50 percent discount because he was a Detroit city employee at the time.
The Land Bank might take the building back if Gilchrist doesn’t meet a Monday deadline to show the property is secure and clear of debris, spokeswoman Alyssa Strickland told The Associated Press.
The Land Bank “has previously issued multiple warnings to Mr. Gilchrist regarding non-compliance,” Strickland said.
In August, Gretchen Whitmer named Gilchrist as her Democratic running mate in the race for governor. He lost a race for Detroit city clerk in 2017, but his support in the city caught Whitmer’s eye. She called him an “innovative and progressive problem-solver.”
Tommy McCray, who lives near Gilchrist’s building, said the property is dangerous and “disgusting.”
Gilchrist released a statement, saying he had “exhausted” his finances to demolish the interior, remove a collapsing balcony and staircase, install plumbing and make other changes.
Nonetheless, he said it’s “not in the state that I want it to be.”
“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,” Gilchrist said.