Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum Corp. has announced it will offer to purchase residential properties in the Boynton neighborhood in southwest Detroit in 2021 with the goal of creating green space as well as a buffer for residents from I-75 and the area’s industrial neighbors.
The purchase program is focused on homes closest to I-75, including Edsel and S. Patricia streets. Marathon also is negotiating with the City of Detroit Land Bank Authority to purchase or lease 38 abandoned homes and about 140 vacant lots owned by the city or the authority in the Boynton neighborhood with the goal of demolishing the homes and maintaining the lots.
“We take great pride in being a part of southwest Detroit, and we are committed to continuing our partnership with the community to improve the quality of life here,” says Dave Leaver, general manager of Marathon’s Detroit refinery. “We are happy to make this property purchase option available to accommodate those who would like to participate in the program. Our intent is to work with residents in the target area to secure property and create green space at the north end of the neighborhood.”
The company has contracted with Community Interaction Consulting to handle the purchases and will provide all eligible residents with a purchase program book. Community Interaction will establish an office in the neighborhood in January to assist residents in the purchase process.
Marathon has committed $5 million to the property purchase effort in 2021 and will review extending the program yearly as part of the company’s annual capital budget evaluation.
The program represents Marathon’s latest effort to enhance the quality of life for southwest Detroit residents. Past initiatives include a $2 million contribution to the renovation of the Kemeny Recreation Center; ongoing support to area organizations including La Sed, Alternatives For Girls, Starfish Family Services, and the Fort Street Bridge Park project; and a planned upgrade to the air purification system at the Mark Twain School for Scholars.
The company has also invested nearly $500 million in technology upgrades over the last 10 years to reduce emissions and improve the facility’s environmental performance.