Heidelberg Project asks public for help after feud with Detroit land bank

Posted at 6:46 AM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 10:49:42-04

The Heidelberg Project is turning to the public after two failed attempts to purchase land surrounding the historic art installation.

The group tells 7 Action News that they’ve attempted to purchase property surrounding the 13 properties they own — adding that they’ve maintained roughly 40 additional lots for years, but they’re currently owned by the Detroit Land Bank. The Heidelberg Project applied to purchase the properties, but said they were rejected by the Detroit Land Bank without explanation.

Recently the group has turned to the public to sign letters directed at the Mayor’s Office calling on the Detroit Land Bank to “stop trying to silence the Heidelberg Project.”

The Land Bank has not responded to requests for a response to the letter writing campaign. The Mayor’s Office was made aware of the letter writing campaign on Friday, but has also not responded.

The Heidelberg Project contends that it has an economic impact on Detroit every year, stating that they draw roughly 275,000 visitors every year.

The most recent fight with the city seems par for the course when it comes to the Heidelberg. Years ago the city of Detroit tried on two separate occasions to bulldoze the Heidelberg Project, a court order stopped that movement both times.

Arsonists also attacked the property relentlessly for a period of time leading to a number of displays being destroyed — the remnants of the building are now worked into the current Heidelberg Project.