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Mayor Bing: Vacant Housing Project Coming Down

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Detroit Mayor Bing speaks in front of the Brewster projects. (WWJ Photo/Florence Walton, File)

Detroit Mayor Bing speaks in front of the Brewster projects. (WWJ Photo/Florence Walton, File)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says a now-vacant housing project where singers Diana Ross and the Supremes lived before becoming Motown superstars will be demolished.

Bing made the announcement Thursday about the massive Frederick Douglass Homes complex, formerly known as the Brewster-Douglass housing project.

Known to most Detroiters as the Brewster projects, the decades-old complex has been vacant since the last families were relocated in 2008 due to safety concerns. It consists of brick condo-like units, six-story buildings and four 14-story towers

“The former Brewster-Douglass complex has a proud place in Detroit’s rich history, as the nation’s first federal housing project for African Americans; as the place where Joe Louis learned to box; and where Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard formed the Supremes,” Mayor Bing said. “However, as a vacant site it became a major eyesore and a danger to the community. We welcome the chance to make it a productive residential and commercial area once again.”

Bing said in his State of the City address in March that the complex would be demolished by year’s end to make way for redevelopment. Thursday, he said there’s interest in the property.

“I’ve already had some recommendations from developers who wanna come here and have some different kinds of ideas what ought to happen. They’re starting to line up and I think that’s very, very healthy,” Bing said.

HUD is giving Detroit $6.5 million for demolition.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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