City using $1.6M for work in four parts of Detroit

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

Detroit — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan plans to pump $1.6 million into Detroit neighborhoods starting in January.

Announced Friday, the initiative is part of Duggan’s “20 Minute Neighborhood” strategy, a term coined earlier this year to describe neighborhoods in which residents wouldn’t have to walk or bike more than 20 minutes from their front door to get groceries and access other amenities.

The money will pay for planning and design framework plans to support “the development of affordable housing, improved landscapes and storm water management, infrastructure upgrades, increased focus on economic development and more,” according to a news release.

Four communities will be targeted in 2017: Southwest Detroit along the West Vernor Corridor; northwest Detroit along the Grand River Corridor; Islandview and the villages along the east riverfront; and the Rosa Parks-Clairmount neighborhood, which is near the Boston Edison neighborhood.

“I have always believed the soul of a city lives in its neighborhoods” Duggan said in a release. “With the approval of these planning proposals, we can build on the vision of creating a vibrant Detroit with opportunity for everyone.”

Plans in the first four neighborhoods will include community engagement to build needed mixed-use and mixed-income developments.

“We have attracted among the best talent in Detroit and the nation to help advance community-driven visions for Detroit’s neighborhoods,” said Maurice Cox, the city’s director of planning at development, in a release.

The Islandview and east-side villages will see $600,000 of the sum so the city can create a plan that improves, among other things, stormwater management and develop the “Beltline Greenway,” which will link up with other greenway paths throughout the city.

In the northwest corridor, $380,000 will go toward efforts to construct “an improved landscape/stormwater management system, new mobility/streetscape strategies and increased focus on economic and workforce development in these neighborhoods.”

Another $380,000 will go to infrastructure work and affordable and market-rate housing in Southwest Detroit. That part of the city will also see truck route assessments through the program.

Rosa Parks-Clairmount will get $275,000 to activate housing, utilize open land and other economic development.

According to a news release, city officials will hold community meetings in each of the designated areas to collect input from residents. All of the projects will “support future citywide master plan initiatives around open space, historic preservation, stormwater management and mobility (and) streetscapes.”

City spokeswoman Lauren Mondry said the city in 2017 will also file additional requests for proposals to spur similar programs in six other Detroit neighborhoods. The initial $1.6 million is devoted to work in the four neighborhoods announced Friday, though.

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Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau