Watch CBS News

HGTV's 'Rehab Addict' Saves Blighted Detroit Home

The star of the highest rated HGTV show is taking her series to her hometown -- all to tackle blight and restore homes in downtown Detroit. WWJ's Kathryn Larson had exclusive access to the set -- and has more with the "Rehab Addict."

Seated high upon a Bobcat, if you aren't careful, Nicole Curtis will run you over.

"I always have people that question how a 5'3" hundred-pound blonde gets all this done and the answer for me has always been. I'm from Detroit."

The Lake Orion native is ready to fight for her city.

(credit: Kathryn Larson/WWJ)

There's no time for whining, crying or being any less than hardened. "People do expect for me to be prancin' around here in like 5 inch heels or something. I got my old work boots on."

With complete focus she's leveling a burned out back yard.

The "Rehab Addict" is in the midst of filming in Detroit and it took some convincing for HGTV to dedicate the money to the on-location shoot.

"We finally had to make it to number one for the network to say, 'Alright whatever you want kid. You can do it.'"

The 1929 duplex at 4926 Campbell St. was set for demolition. "We're in this great neighborhood just west on Michigan Ave from downtown, just west of Corktown ..."

In her mind's eye she sees the house as an architectural gem with some amazing features ranging from Detroit's famous Pewabic Pottery tile to marble inset murals.

But there are some old-house headaches and other pushback she'll face including water damage from recent heavy rain and arson.

Aiming to re-establish market value and owner-occupants in the area, Curtis sharing her motivation said, "We need some new people in the city. They're not gonna go in the city if there's burnt out houses."

"This season is all about taking homes that are set for demolition. We're going in and we're saving it," she added.

Curtis welcomes ideas or help from anyone in the industry. Visit the location of the project as it's in progress at 4926 Campbell St.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.