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DETROIT-The city of Detroit will get a boost in its program to demolish dilapidated homes and buildings through a $10 million donation by the Thompson Foundation of Plymouth MI.Robert Thompson made millions through his asphalt paving company, which he sold in 1999. Recently, Thompson said he would give Detroit the money to help with the city’s rebirth.

Before his election in 2002, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick had hoped to demolish more than 5,000 abandoned buildings by this year. However, the city is well behind that mark; just less than 2,000 have been torn down.

“The pledge was for 5,000, but after we got into office and looked at the processes in place, we realized that 5,000 was unattainable,” said Jermaine Dickens, a spokesman for the mayor.It’s expensive to tear down a building, Dickens added.

The buildings to be demolished include former commercial facilities and abandoned homes, according to Dickens. The priority will be to tear down buildings within 400 yards of public schools, he told GlobeSt.com.

The donation by Thompson will help remove about 1,400 buildings this year, while the city hopes to remove 1,200 more.In 2001, the city knocked down more than 2,200 commercial and residentialstructures. There are still about 7,000 abandoned or dangerous buildings inthe city.

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