Sep 19, 2023 - News

Detroit Vs. Everybody regroups after Eastern Market building collapse

Detroit Vs. Everybody founder Tommey Walker visited the collapsed building yesterday that housed his business. The building will be demolished, forcing the relocation of several tenants. Photo: Joe Guillen/Axios

Detroit Vs. Everybody founder Tommey Walker stood outside the ruins of his brand's Eastern Market location Monday and assessed his losses — merchandise, art and all the sweat that went into remodeling the space.

Why it matters: The city ordered an emergency demolition of 2501 Russell — in the heart of historic Eastern Market — after it partially collapsed Saturday, injuring one bystander.

  • The building also housed Jabs Gym, Beyond Juicery + Eatery, Brooklyn Outdoor and J'adore Detroit.

State of play: Walker tells Axios he is barred from reentering the building and will lose prized possessions inside because of the demolition, including a glass-protected mural by Bakpak Durden commemorating Detroit Ws. Everybody's collaboration with Gucci.

What they're saying: "We've had wins in that building, and with this being such a historical space, I took pride and really thought about all the time, all the energy that we placed in here, being part of that history," Walker says. "Now the building has to be demolished."

Between the lines: City spokesperson John Roach confirmed inspectors deemed the building unsafe to enter in its present condition, which has also prevented officials from determining the collapse's cause.

  • The most recent inspection in July showed no structural issues, Roach tells Axios.

Threat level: Other business owners who operated at 2501 Russell told the Detroit News they are figuring out next steps.

  • "We will be done if the building goes down. ... We can't rebuild this space," Candice Simons, president and CEO of Brooklyn Outdoor and event venue J'adore Detroit, told the News.

What's next: Walker says the collapse interrupted his plans for a November relaunch at the Eastern Market location, which had been closed for a remodel while merchandise was sold outside.

  • But he's determined to push forward and recover.
  • "The city of Detroit has always helped us, has always promoted us. We exist through the city of Detroit. Now they get to watch us persevere," Walker says.

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