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Fitzgerald neighborhood work starts with new park, community center

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City of Detroit

The official groundbreaking started today in the Livernois-McNichols area for the Fitzgerald neighborhood revitalization, which is a multi-faceted approach to improve the neighborhood. The first two projects—Ella Fitzgerald Park and a “HomeBase” community center—broke ground today.

The neighborhood revitalization is a collaboration between multiple partners, including the City of Detroit, the Reimagining the Civic Commons program, the Live6 Alliance, developers FitzForward, and more.

The Ella Fitzgerald Park will have a multipurpose sports field and basketball court, as well as play equipment, green space, and a greenway running through the park. The park will also have two murals by local artist Hubert Massey. It will add a vibrant, attractive gathering place to the surrounding community.

City of Detroit

HomeBase, a new community center on McNichols Avenue, will be home to the Live6 Alliance, along with the Detroit Collaborative Design Center—a nonprofit architecture and urban design firm at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, and shared space for various city of Detroit staff and community groups.

“You can’t underestimate what the establishment of HomeBase will do to accelerate the collaboration between the various organizations who are working toward revitalizing this area,” says Lauren Hood, Live6 Alliance co-director. “And a well-trafficked office can only help spur more development in the immediate vicinity. This means there’ll be one less abandoned building on this street. We’ll be a good neighbor to the about-to-open coffee shop next door, the restaurant in the works across the street and the other active buildings in the vicinity. Activity attracts more activity for everyone.”

“The establishment of HomeBase also creates a single place where residents can go with questions—whether they’re trying to get an affordable mortgage or trying to open a business, the resources to help can be found, at last, in a single space,” says Hood. “And it will be open for block club meetings and a wide variety of other community events.”

McNichols could also see significant improvement over the next few years with the mayor’s plan to revitalize commercial corridors. Live6 is also working on securing funding for Treehouse, a community space for neighborhood youth.

This two-year plan to revitalize the Fitzgerald neighborhood will also include rehabbing 115 vacant homes for rental or sale, led by FitzForward, a collaboration between developers The Platform and Century Partners. This effort will start later this year.