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Detroit: “Victory!”- 1515 Broadway is saved

OccupyOurHomes on January 26, 2012
Posted in: InspirationsVictories

Earlier today, faced with intense community pressure Citibank dropped its plan to evict 1515 Broadway and the Jaszczak Family. The settlement puts an end to Chris Jaszczak’s months-long ordeal.

Chris Jaszczak is a Vietnam veteran, father, and small business owner. He founded 1515 Broadway in 1987. Over time, the café and theatre has become one of Detroit’s community cornerstones. Along with other local small businesses, 1515 has been key to revitalizing Downtown Detroit. The building is also Chris' home, where he lives with his young son.

During the economic crisis, like many Americans, Chris hit a financial rough patch. As a result, he fell behind on his 11.25% interest mortgage loan from mortgage giant Citibank. He reached out to numerous local economic development entities for assistance, but got no help.

Once his income recovered, Chris made a reasonable offer to Citibank. Initially, the bank, which has received tens of billions of dollars in federal taxpayer bailouts on the express condition that it aid borrowers rejected Chris’ offer.

But local business owners, the arts community, UAW Local 600 as well as the Occupy Movement rallied behind 1515. In response to extensive public pressure Citibank dropped its plan to evict 1515 and the family. Chris Jaszczak is thankful and planning a celebration to take place at the café on Thursday evening. “I’m grateful to everyone who stood with us and glad to get back to work. I hope that stories like mine will inspire our country’s leaders to write laws which put homeowners and small business owners ahead of banks. ”