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Kresge initiative backs 18 Detroit neighboood revitalization projects


Implementation grants of $100,000 to $150,000 will support these projects that can begin promptly and are to be completed in 12 to 18 months. There is at least one implementation project in each of the seven Detroit City Council districts.

  • Afterhouse
    University of Michigan
    University of Michigan’s Archolab research collaborative and Burnside Farm will turn an abandoned home into a passive solar subterranean greenhouse for growing food year-round. This is a possible reuse of the concrete block foundations that are common in many parts of the city and are a major impediment to the demolition of abandoned homes.
  • Center for Resident Engagement and Development
    Southwest Housing Solutions Corp.
    The former St. Anthony Lithuanian Church in southwest Detroit, now vacant, is being redeveloped to provide a host of programs and serve as the nexus for the resident-led redevelopment of a 20-block area.
  • Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program
    Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program
    The Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program has operated out of a former car wash on St. Aubin on the city’s near east side for eight years. It couples boxing with strong academic support and a commitment to community volunteerism. One measure of its appeal is that it has 65 youth participating – and 400 on a wait list. The first phase of renovation of a nearby 12,000-square-foot facility will allow the program to relocate and begin accepting youth from the wait list.
  • Fitness Parks for a Healthier Community
    Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corp.
    Building on its healthy-neighborhood strategy, Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corp. will transform seven vacant lots – all under 50 feet wide and unbuildable – into pocket parks, connected by a walking path to foster healthy, active living in the Middle Woodward Corridor. Fitness equipment, native plantings and trees will be added to the lots, and users will be encouraged to walk park-to-park for additional exercise.
  • Green Parking and Public Space
    Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp.
    Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp. will develop a green parking lot and outdoor public space on the Grand River Avenue commercial corridor. Kresge’s grant will support community outreach activities, planning, design and redevelopment of the lots, which will retain stormwater on site.
  • Intersections Pocket Park
    Heritage Works
    This project will transform vacant lots at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks boulevards in the North Corktown/Briggs neighborhood into a community-centered pocket park that commemorates these two figures. This grant will support the implementation of the community-driven design, including the installation of new hardscape, greenscape and benches; the fabrication of new public art informed by students from the adjacent elementary school, Burton International School; and development of a plan for ongoing maintenance and programming.
  • Judge Stein Playfield
    Joy-Southfield Community Development Corp.
    Improvements to the Judge Stein Playfield in the Cody-Rouge neighborhood in west Detroit will include a new sidewalk, solar-powered lighting and green infrastructure features. These additions will make the park more walkable, improve park safety and enhance stormwater management through the incorporation of bioswales landscaping to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water.
  • LaSalle House
    Focus: HOPE
    This project will transform LaSalle House, a blighted two-family flat in the HOPE Village neighborhood, into the first LEED Platinum rehabilitated home in Detroit, with the goal of taking the house completely off the grid. The renovated house will be used as a community space, serving as an art gallery and meeting space for the community, and act as a demonstration site to provide hands-on access to green technologies.
  • Mack Avenue Green Thoroughfare
    LAND Inc.
    This is an effort to extend the Mack Avenue Green Thoroughfare, or Green T, by converting a three-quarter-mile blighted section of the Mack Avenue Commercial Corridor into a productive green byway.
  • Osborn Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative
    Black Family Development Inc.
    This 13-month initiative in the Osborn neighborhood in northeast Detroit will engage residents and other stakeholders to establish short- and long-term land-use plans. Based on those plans, Black Family Development Inc. will work with Life Remodeled, another Detroit nonprofit, to mobilize 5,000 volunteers for a six-day cleanup. The work will include clearing, preparing and securing side lots available for purchase by neighbors through the Detroit Land Bank Authority.
  • Penrose Market Garden and Nutrition Program
    Arab American and Chaldean Council
    This project will develop a one-half-acre market garden facility, an education center and nutrition programs at the Penrose Village housing development in Chaldean Town. The Penrose Market Garden – to include garden beds, hoop houses and a community meeting space – will be centrally located within the housing development.
Detroit City district map

Planning grants of $20,000 to $25,000 are to be completed by the end of August prior to the next round of Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit, to begin in the fall.

  • Beaufait Belt Line Greenway
    Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative
    The Beaufait Belt Line Greenway is to be a 1.5-mile transforming an overgrown, abandoned rail line into a walkable, bikeable greenway and a raised-garden “foodway” that connects to Gleaners and Earthworks Urban Farm, two important local sources of healthy food. A planning process will engage residents, businesses and other stakeholders through a series of meetings and outreach activities, and produce a complete conceptual design, operations models, budgets and a fundraising plan.
  • Brightfields Solar Array
    LAND Inc.
    LAND Inc. will assess the feasibility of remediating a vacant four-acre brownfield site on the Mack Avenue corridor in the lower east side of Detroit so it can be used for a renewable-energy solar array. In addition to generating energy and replacing blight with an attractive landscape, the project would create a training program to give area residents access to careers in solar site installation and maintenance.
  • Delores Bennett Park Expansion Project
    Vanguard Community Development Corp.
    This project will engage residents in a collaborative process to design an expansion of Delores Bennett Park in Detroit’s North End neighborhood the park from its current 2.7 acres to as much as 30 acres. The project is key to the neighborhood’s plan for vacant-land reutilization, housing stabilization, economic development and improved quality of life.
  • Denby Future Community
    Michigan Environmental Council
    This grant will support the development of a three-year strategic plan for an ongoing program at Denby High School on Detroit’s east side. That program, which began in the fall of 2013, integrates the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework Plan into the curriculum and uses it to guide students in their efforts to transform their neighborhood.
  • Plaza Planning Project
    Young Nation
    Young Nation plans to transform a vacant lot and an empty 2,200-square-foot commercial building into a neighborhood-based, arts-infused public plaza and artists market at the intersection in southwest Detroit.
  • Southwest Detroit Green Buffers Planning Project
    Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice
    This effort will examine the use of vacant land to buffer residential areas from industrial facilities and the planned New International Trade Crossing connecting Detroit to Windsor, Canada, across the Detroit River. The planning will also identify where buffer zones can connect residents to the Detroit riverfront, parks, greenways, green spaces and other neighborhood assets.
  • Vacant Land Adaptive Reuse
    Michigan Community Resources
    Michigan Community Resources will plan for the adaptive reuse of land in a high-vacancy neighborhood on the lower east side of Detroit.

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