Not so long ago, the stretch of Livernois between 6 Mile and 8 Mile was known as Detroit's "Avenue of Fashion." Though it's relatively sleepy these days, the area's design has the bones of a vibrant retail district, and is located near several prosperous neighborhoods and the University of Detroit Mercy. Those traits have earned Livernois the attention of a posse of Detroit boosters, which have successfully wrangled a mountain of cash aimed at making the Avenue of Fashion the bustling—though slightly more diversifed—retail hub it once was.
The first big improvement should be a $200,000 ArtPlace grant, which will pay for art installations in the medians and vacant storefronts between 8 Mile and Outer Drive. It's unclear how they'll spend that much money on just a couple of blocks without it looking like the Heidelberg Project. We just hope it doesn't smell when it rains.
After that, a $1.5M grant from the federal government and the DEGC will provide better pedestrian amenities and "streetscaping improvements" for the 2.8 miles of Livernois between 8 Mile and the Lodge Freeway. No specifics yet on what those projects will be, but they're slated to start up next spring.
In the meantime, the DEGC retail program Revolve will be working to court pop-ups and permanent retail, much the way it did in West Village last year. The permanent results of those efforts—Craft Work, Tarot and Tea, Red Hook Coffee, and Detroit Vegan Soul—are set to open sometime this year.
· The Style Note: Avenue of Fashion's past, present, future [The South End]
· Businesses Claim Storefronts in West Village [Curbed Detroit]
· Livernois Avenue in the fast lane for $1.7 million face-lift [Crain's]
· $200K grant to give Detroit's former Avenue of Fashion a boost [Det News]