What to do with a Campau lot? The mind reels with ideas

 It’s rare that an empty lot is up for sale on Jos. Campau. You can probably pick this one up for fairly cheap through the Wayne County Treasurer’s auction going on now.

It’s rare that an empty lot is up for sale on Jos. Campau. You can probably pick this one up for fairly cheap through the Wayne County Treasurer’s auction going on now.


By Charles Sercombe
Yearning for a piece of the action in Hamtramck’s main business district?
If so, there is still plenty of time to bid on an empty lot at 11431 Jos. Campau, just north of Caniff and next to Club Aces.
The lot is up for auction through the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office. As of Wednesday, the bid was at $4,100. Bidding started out at $500, and will end on Oct. 28 at 10:15 a.m.
While the lot is only about 30 feet wide, it goes back about 100 feet.
The building that had been there was destroyed in a gas explosion and later demolished. The property was forfeited to the county because of unpaid taxes.
While it’s not common these days to build a stand-alone building with those dimensions, there is certainly no shortage of creative ideas on what could be built here, or done with the property without building anything.
Currently in housing circles, smaller is better. There is a growing movement to build dwellings no more than 400-square-feet. Why not run with that idea and string together a series of small office spaces – fashioned from shipping containers? — and rent them out to start-up companies, or pop-up retail outlets who only want to stay for a month or so?
With Hamtramck taking off as a culinary destination, how about allowing food trucks to line up on one side and turn it into a food court?
During the summer, wouldn’t it be nice if this could be turned into a tiny festival ground featuring bands and DJ’s?
You’ve heard of Shakespeare in the Park, why not Shakespeare in a Lot?
Or, in keeping with the micro idea, this could be a great spot for rotating neighborhood festivals during warm weather.
Skateboarding is also extremely popular, and we could imagine a skateboard park being installed.
Come on you creative types, let’s hear what you would do with this lot. Email your suggestions to us at news@thehamtramckreview.com.

One Response to What to do with a Campau lot? The mind reels with ideas

  1. Katja Foreman-Braunschweig

    October 29, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Many years ago, my family converted the double lot behind our house into a large community garden. We grew food on it, my mom made mulberry jam from the tree on it. My friends and I made a club called The Green Team, and we met on that field, under the mulberry tree, to make up ideas about how to make the world better. We called that bare spot under the mulberry tree our clubhouse, and we spent many summers under it. We played ball on the field and made igloos in the winter. My parents wanted to buy it so that it could stay an open field but the lawsuit had to take priority, and today there are bulldozers putting in the sewer lines. It’s a really really sad time for me and my family and the Green Team.
    I’m homeschooled, and I recently created a poem about our lost field. It’s titled Elegy for a Lost Clubhouse. I think that people should think about this when they think of new ideas for lots, and I hope that all developers read this poem and know how we feel. The Green Team respectfully asks that this poem be published. Thank you.

    Katja Foreman-Braunschweig

    Elegy for a Lost Clubhouse

    Devoured by a dusty machine
    Sucking the essence away
    The shell is there still
    A mere memory

    Ghosts of laughter remain
    but all is silent and bare
    Dry twigs lay dead on the ground
    A blanket of shredded tree there

    Leaves have scudded across
    this clubhouse, once great
    Frozen by snow, blasted
    By the blizzards that gave the snow weight

    Mulberries stained the dirt floor
    And spring rain drenched again
    Secret, official plans, whispered
    Concocted inside this clubhouse when

    Uproarious meetings, laughter and words
    Populated the summer air
    Serious confidings in the privacy
    of a clubhouse warm and shaded there

    Ernest words to another listener
    Friendships made and broken
    Conversations, perched in the heights
    There were great times here

    It had its beginnings in times long past
    Long grass under a young mulberry tree
    The grass was trampled again and again
    Until there was no more to see

    The clubhouse was our sanctuary
    A place for debates and rest
    The tree a building inspiration
    Or just a comforting presence

    Those who were there from the beginning
    Knew the clubhouse exactly by heart
    They knew where the dips were, the roots and lumps
    And to them every branch held history
    The clubhouse is gone in sight
    But to some it will never be gone
    Not as long as the memories remain
    Never will it go and be done

    When cement covers the ground
    Where a garden was clumsily sown
    When orange netting blankets the place
    Where the garden was slowly grown

    Those of us will remember, forever and ever
    Our clubhouse that once was there
    We will remember what happened, all what was destroyed
    And it will matter – we will care

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