Detroit’s self-titled, “Sexiest Anarchist Collective,” Trumbullplex, has just increased their land holdings after winning a bid for some unused lots, out from under a developer who wanted to turn them into parking lots.
The small housing collective has operated out of two Victorian-era houses in the Woodbridge neighborhood of Detroit, since 1993. After establishing themselves as a non-profit organization, the Wayne Association of Collective Housing, better known as Trumbullplex after the two houses being situated on Trumbull Street, the group has spent the past two decades maintaining and developing their pair of properties, and the surrounding city lots, as hubs of creativity, art, and activism. Among the things the collective has created are a number of urban gardens, a multi-use theater space, and a zine library.
While the Trumbullplex Collective has only officially occupied the land that holds their two houses, their activities have spread to the unused lots surrounding the buildings as well over the years. According to the Detroit Metro Times, the collective claims to have been trying unsuccessfully to purchase the extra land from the city for decades. But now, after another local developer tried to bid on a pair of the neighboring lots, they have finally succeeded.
Detroit developer Alex Pereira, known for installing statues of children’s characters in front of his buildings, recently tried to buy up the lots for $5,000-a-piece, stating that they would be used for mixed development. However, according to the Trumbullplex Collective, he told them he would be open to turning them into parking lots, if he could get the permits. Trumbullplex put in a counter-bid that matched Pereira’s, and the city accepted theirs over Pereira’s, saying that their intentions had the most community benefit.
The anarchist collective is expected to continue using their neighboring lots as they have been, as community gardens and gathering spaces, but no matter what, the decision is finally, officially, theirs to make.