Pontiac's blight removal project in final phase

Posted at 4:32 PM, Feb 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-22 16:38:35-05

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — Not long ago the city of Pontiac had nearly 1000 blighted residential properties.

Now in the final phase of it's multi-year demolition program, Pontiac is preparing to declare itself blight-free as blight disappears.

It’s been two years since the Pontiac Silverdome imploded, decades of memories turned to rubble and a large vacant Pontiac property gone.

Now rising up from the more than 100-acre lot, an Amazon fulfillment center is bringing 1,500 new jobs – a sign of hope for a new future in Pontiac

"With Amazon coming, everybody’s excited," said Lawanda Madden, owner of Premiere Spa & Salon.

Women’s clothing boutique E & K located on Saginaw has been a staple downtown and is now available online.

"We’ve seen a lot of change in the last four years. More traffic more businesses popping up down here."

Premiere Spa & Salon just opened its doors 10 months ago.

"Programs the mayor puts on to bring people here and it’s nice watching that," said Madden. "Here we have a front view."

Pontiac is finishing up a five-year blight-free project, demolishing the last handful on the list of hundreds of blighted properties. The city is turning a new page says real estate developer, Tim Shepard.

"Now we're at the point that bad ones are gone, and the ones left are ready to be rehabbed," said Shepard.

He bought the treasury a year and a half ago.

"The treasury had a total of 12 weddings the year before we bought it, not a lot of weddings," said Shepard.

In 2020, business has more than quadrupled.

"Fifty to 60 this year."

And property values are increasing by double digits.