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Flint hires crew to clean up Sunset Village Apartments on Crim route

The city condemned the complex in February, but the owners have been slow to secure the blighted property.
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (8/27/2021) - With Crim Festival of Races participants making their way through Flint on Saturday, the city is taking action to make sure the route looks presentable.

One eyesore runners will pass by is the Sunset Village Apartments. After multiple reports on ABC12 earlier this year about the unlivable conditions there, the city condemned the property.

Seven months later, neighbors say the job of securing it still isn’t complete. So, the city of Flint stepped up to clean the side of the complex that runners will pass by on the Crim’s 10-mile race.

Sunset Village Apartments sits at the corner of the halfway mark, where participants take on the Bradley Hills. The Glendale Hills Neighborhood Association was hoping it wouldn’t take an event to push to the city to take action, but President Sharon Bradley is grateful the city stepped up.

She’s hopeful the city will continue paying attention when the Crim event is over.

“I did not want to see the race come up here looking like this. It broke my heart,” Bradley said.

For years their group has worked to beautify their area, which is why she first raised concerns to the city about the Sunset Village Apartments in January 2020. The city said their hands were tied because the complex privately owned.

“However, I also feel that we do have code enforcement that could have been used in the city,” Bradley said. “I don’t understand letting commercial properties deteriorate to the point where they’re uninhabitable.”

ABC12 reported in February the city condemned the property and demanded action from the owners to clean it up and secure the complex after everyone was moved out.

“Well, all summer long, there have been people going in and out of these buildings,” Bradley said. “It’s like playing Whack-a-Mole. They board them up, they take them off, they’re back in there. We know that there’s been looting and vandalism.”

Those are all concerns she’s sent to the city, but Bradley has yet to hear back. So she was surprised to see a crew on site cleaning up the one side where runners will be passing through Saturday.

“It’s been two days, eight to 10 hour days,” said Jermaine Turner, a member of one of the city’s Blight Assist Teams. “When we first arrived it was blighted everywhere -- mattresses, washers, dryers, anything you can name was here.”

Turner and his partner have been cleaning up blight across Flint for several years. He said the city hired them Wednesday to tackle this mess ahead of the Crim.

“If we make sure we have the Crim race a success, just like the Back to the Bricks was just a success, we’ll be able to keep Flint growing and striving,” Turner said.

Some members of the Glendale Hills Neighborhood Association are so fed up with the city, they refused to volunteer to help block roads in their area for the Crim Festival of Races this year. Bradley said several people are also moving away because they’re so concerned about their safety.

The city of Flint says there is a “proposed purchaser” who hired a construction company to complete the job of securing the property. The city hopes the next owner will restore the complex to apartments again.

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