City to remove 2 dangerous buildings on E. Franklin Street

  • Inspection report shows buildings on E. Franklin at Riopelle are structurally unsound and pose immediate danger; emergency demolition ordered

The Detroit Demolition Department in the next week will demolish two long-vacant buildings on E. Franklin in the City's Rivertown district after a recent report issued by city building inspectors show the four-story building at 1460 E. Franklin and two-story building at 1490 E. Franklin are structurally unsound and pose a safety risk. 

The report cited failed beams, a collapsing roof and falling masonry, among other serious issues. The Stone Soap buildings, which have been vacant for nearly 30 years, also are adjacent to an active business (Steve's Soul Food) and across the street from an occupied apartment building.  In 2017, the City selected Banyan Investments through an RFP process to redevelop the buildings in an attempt to save them, however those plans never came to fruition.

Emergency demolition of the buildings is expected to begin later this week and take approximately a week to complete.

Stone Soap Buildings Timeline

1907 – Original complex opens, later expanded in late 1020’s

Mid-1990s - complex vacated and left abandoned since

March 2017 – Planning Department in collaboration with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation issues a request for proposals to redevelop the Stone Soap building in effort to save the deteriorating structures.  

October 2017 – Banyan Investments selected as developer to convert the vacant buildings into new residential units, however the redevelopment never progressed.

April 14, 2023 – City inspectors survey the buildings and find extensive deterioration, including failing beams, collapsing roof and falling masonry. BSEED issues emergency demolition order.

May 2023 – Demolition Department issues bids for demolition and selects Detroit-based The Adamo Group, which installed perimeter fencing to protect passersby until it demolishes the buildings in the next week.