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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Field Report: The Proposed Sale of Johnson Recreation Center and Higginbotham School Property

By Richard C. Clement - Legislative Aide to 
Councilmember Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr.

                The Former Johnson Recreation Center has been listed by the City of Detroit for a sale price of $1,000,000 dollars on November 24th, 2017. According to the realtor, this will be a unique development opportunity for an interested buyer.  The Higginbotham Elementary School property is for sale with a $500,000 selling price.   This land has historic value to the City of Detroit because it was named after Joe Louis during World War II and, the first place where African Americans could learn how to swim in the 1950.


                We know that this Recreation Center has a major stake in the development and redevelopment of the youth within the community. A working recreation center increases the property value in the neighborhoods and encourages growth.  Closed schools are a sin to education and, the old Higginbotham School property could be unique development opportunity for an entrepreneur as a senior citizens home to a satellite community college.               

Former Johnson Recreation Center
Public comment is welcome on this matter and encouraged by Councilmember Pro-Tem Cushingberry and, we will be notifying you of any activity on these property.  We want to thank Hazel Fludd of Garden Homes Community Organization and, Dwight Smith of the 8 Mile Old Timers Club for staying on top of this issue because it is a pressing concern of the residents, especially within 1.5 miles of the property. 

As of this writing, the University of Detroit Jesuit High School is making very serious offers to acquire the land to expand football practice facilities.  If you are interested in purchasing the land, then you are strongly recommended to contact the realtor for more information and, you City Council Members to voice your concerns.  Currently both properties are listed as a special purpose land use sale.

The final sale must be approved by the full 9 member body of the Detroit City Council.

Detroit City Council Website Link 


Friends of George Cushingberry said...

The history of Johnson Center must be preserved! - Garden Homes Community Organization

" The Johnson Rec Center must remain as a center for the community because of the rich history and after listening to Dwight about how Sheldon Johnson, I think that was the name of the man who worked for the Recreation department who vowed another kid would not drown in a hole filled with rain water because in the 1950's there was no swimming pool facility, which resulted in two young black kids drowning. Neighborhood historian Dwight Smith said this scene was horrified for neighbors to watch as their bodies removed from this water filled-hole, excavating them using a pitch folk which caused their body to be damaged. Therefore, Mr. Johnson saw to it a swimming pool built, where Johnson Recreation now located, to prevent this from happening again. "

Hazel Fludd Garden Homes Community Organization

Sharon E. Stephenson said...

Greetings Councilman Cushingberry:

I sincerely hope and pray that the City of Detroit preserves the Johnson Recreation Center as a desperately needed facility for the social and recreational development of the youth in the community.

As a graduate of Higginbotham Elementary School and participant of the enriching activities and programs provided by Johnson Center (as a youth and adult), I'm expressing the growth and confidence I developed through track and field, roller skating, swimming, community gatherings, etc. It will be a detriment to the youth in the community to sell the center. It is logistically convenient to the youth and seniors. The surrounding land has a diverse purpose, sports, picnics, reunions, gardening and outdoor play areas.

It has proven to be a valuable asset and resource to the community, thus the city.

Please vote to keep Johnson Center for the community.

Sharon E. Stephenson - Good Stuff on the Internet