DETROIT—Detroit, a former industrial metropolis in southeastern Michigan with a population of just under 1 million, was sold at auction Tuesday to bulk scrap dealers and smelting foundries across the United States.
The decision to demolish and cull Detroit for scrap was approved last month by a 6-3 City Council vote after a cost-benefit analysis revealed that, as a functioning urban area, it held a negative cash value.
Ranneke acquired several Detroit commercial districts and the steel-and-glass 1970s-era Renaissance Center for $4,000.
"I did them a favor," Ranneke said. "Believe me, Detroit's been around the block. I was willing to take it off their hands for six grand, but I caught a glimpse of that Ambassador Bridge and I said 'no way.' I am not Santa Claus."