An upcoming episode of the rehab show “In With The Old” will be about redeveloping a home near the old Herman Kiefer hospital complex in Detroit. The show highlights people across the country trying to rebuild abandoned and historic structures.
The episode is expected to feature Darius Smith and his attempts to rebuild his grandmother’s home in Virginia Park. Smith, a business partner of Herman Kiefer developer Ron Castellano, grew up in Detroit but now resides in Ann Arbor.
The show should provide positive attention to a project that’s received little of it. Castellano inked a deal with the city in 2015 to buy the massive hospital complex and 115 homes from the Detroit Land Bank Authority. He barely made a deadline two years ago to complete 15 home rehabs and says he is on track to meet the next deadline of 20 more rehabs by Nov. 30.
Nearby residents have long complained about the deal, saying it locked out Detroiters from the opportunity to buy homes. His willingness to work with community groups may have eased some of the tension.
Meanwhile, Castellano still has no tenants or redevelopment plans for Herman Kiefer’s 11 buildings. He has until February 2029 to invest $75 million or have 80% of the property activated. If not, he risks losing it altogether.