Reporting Ron Dewey
DETROIT (WWJ) – Neighbors living in the shadow of southwest Detroit’s Marathon Oil refinery are coming around on the company’s offer to buy their homes to make room for a $2 million expansion.
It’s part of a voluntary relocation program for residents who want to bail from Detroit’s Oakwood Heights neighborhood, where major industry surrounds hundreds of residential properties.
About 300 homes are expected to be bought and razed for the project. About a dozen have already been boarded up.
Local resident Autumn Sukey feels Marathon should provide extra security for those vacant homes.
“I feel sorry for some of the people who have lived here a long time,” Sukey told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Ron Dewey. “It was a decent neighborhood, and now there’s a lot of homes that are vacant.
“And since we’ve been living here there hadn’t been, like, any house fires or anything, and now people are breaking into the vacant homes and there was a fire the other night,” she said.
The company upping the ante, offering a minimum appraisal of $50,000.
“I’d describe it as a decent offer, but I think they could’ve done it better,” said Francisco Duran, whose parents are taking the offer and moving downriver. ”Some of the families around this neighborhood are struggling. I mean, either way they’re gonna get kicked out of their homes. So they might as well give them something decent so they can go buy themselves another house, ya know?”
Duran said he has misgivings about leaving the neighborhood were grew up, but doesn’t mind the Marathon deal if it will mean more jobs for the area.