Detroit Bundle, LLC is the sole official bidder of the Detroit blight bundle, and it is led by none other than well-known Detroiter Herb Strather. The other members are his partners and students of Strather Academy, a non-profit real estate educational arm of Strather Associates. Strather wants to redevelop the city together with Detroit’s community based organizations, churches and major stakeholders. He is willing to invest his own resources and believes he is the most qualified person to lead the way.
The blight bundle consists of over 6,000 of Detroit’s worst properties which includes 4,000 parcels with vacant and burned up structures, 1,000 vacant lots and 1,000 houses in various conditions of disrepair. Why would anyone want to buy this?
Strather says his group submitted a bid because he was informed by county officials that several people had paid the required $25,000 deposit and any of them could submit a bid. “The idea of some outsider coming in here and buying up 6,000 parcels did not sit well with me. I felt I had to act now or forever hold my peace. Instead of selling off parcels we should be consolidating them and making deals with community groups and developers for redevelopment. I am bothered that no one is talking about a grand plan other than Midtown”.
Provided with support from major stakeholders and city planners, Strather believes the community groups are strong enough to do this. He understands the complexity of redeveloping a city as big as Detroit. Even his supporters agree that this job is too big for any individual. Many say Strather is good but… can he pull this off? “I don’t know” says Tanya Griffin a former student of Strather Academy. “If anyone can, he can. I know he is extremely knowledgeable”
“This is not a job for an individual. It is a job for the community and we have strong community developers like Grandmont- Rosedale, Warren-Conners and Brightmoor Alliance just to name a few” says Strather. “Furthermore if we win the bid, we will lead the way with a stakeholder summit, community charrettes and teaching so we can give our community the knowledge they need to succeed. I plan to start a TV show called “Redeveloping Detroit and will teach live each week”
Strather Academy together with Lawrence Technological University already planned to start a course that intends to teach students by actually developing 28 blocks adjacent to Grandmont subdivision. They would propose to acquire all of the vacant house east of Asbury Park to Greenfield and south of Grand River to Schoolcraft and build a model community. The model community would have light poles that have lights, sound detectors, cameras and possibly solar power provided support from a foundation such as Public Safety or DTE Foundations.
Strather is used to pulling off big deals. He closed 2 billion in deals, created the commercial casino industry in Detroit and redeveloped the Jefferies Projects into Woodbridge Estates.
Strather states, “This is my bid to lead the way in redeveloping our city. My entire life I have dreamed about this. I hope to get the Mayors blessing to move this dream forward for all of us. I look forward to working with homeowners wanting to reclaim their home, community developers looking to rebuild blocks of houses, professional developers with large scale developments and individuals who want to become a developer. It is safe to say that we at Strather Academy www.stratheracademy.com intend to create the next generation of developers that will see to it that Detroit take back it proper place in the world”.
The Reverend Wendell Anthony of Fellowship Church supports Strather’s efforts. “I hope the entire city gets behind Strather. He has done more deals, built more Optimist Clubs and donated more money than any other African-American living in the City. Plus, he has a track record of working with churches and community leaders – he’s our man.”
Strather’s group has 21 days to convince the Mayor and County Treasurer that they are the ones to do the job and enter into a development agreement with the City (and Treasurer). If they are able to do so, they win the bid. Strather says his group plans to work with the Detroit Land Bank Authority for disposition. “We plan to sequester all parcels the DLBA wants or have committed to with homeowners and community groups before we take title or sell off parcels. I can’t wait to meet with the community groups and get started!”
Interested parties should contact Herb Strather @ (313) 444-9691.
For all interviews please contact PR Manager, Princess-Odilia at (313) 446-6900 Ext. 5