Save The Russell Industrial Center
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The Russell Industrial Center is in danger of closing for good!
Approximately 150 tenants, comprised of local Detroit artisans and businesses are currently being put out of work by the City of Detroit in an effort to close the doors of The Russell Industrial Center. Some of these tenants have resided in the complex for almost 30 years! One who was forced to relocate this week spent an unexpected $20,000 to move his business. Others would be facing daunting costs of upwards for $100,000 to rebuild their businesses in new locations not to mention losing time and money they would have otherwise spent earning while they do so.
The Russell complex houses the largest artist community in the midwest; it houses the largest glassblowing community in Detroit and arguably the midwest along with woodworkers, painters, photographers, sculptors, musicians, antique dealers, entrepreneurs, creatives and more . It houses art events that make this city what it is, including the Dirty Show and multiple music festivals. The Russell houses a Detroit nonprofit that has donated $156,000 to help re-open the Belle Isle Aquarium and to bring art classes back to Detroit public school children. Its iconic appearance has served as a set for multiple movies. It has allowed artisans a safe space to work and grow their businesses for over 30 years. It allowed the spirit of art that makes Detroit what it is, to flourish all these years.
There are holes in the story and reasoning for the closing. The city gave no notice to vacate the premises. We have had meetings to ask, "Why would the city put so many out of work?", "Why can't we work while code violations are rectified?". They are refusing to compromise and are unwilling to make an exception so folks can continue to work and not lose their entire livelihood. The city claims the building is unsafe, yet they have allowed three businesses to remain in the complex. The buildings cannot be compared to the fire in Oakland, as the Albert Kahn building, is made of concrete, and was made specifically to withstand fire damage and spread. Exits are accessible and not blocked. No one lives on the premises. Not to mention the fact that for the over 30 years that the complex has housed artisans, there have never been any major issues causing harm to anyone.
By signing this petition you can tell Mayor Mike Duggan, The City of Detroit, and The Detroit City Council that you value The Russell Industrial Center and the place it holds as an important Detroit art icon and community in this city and you do not want to see it go away.
By signing this petition you can tell Mayor Mike Duggan, The City of Detroit, and The Detroit City Council that you do not want to see longstanding local Detroit artisans and businesses be put out of work.
Thank you for taking the time to make your voice heard.
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