The area around 12th Street (now Rosa Parks Boulevard) and Clairmount has struggled since the ’67 rebellion. Twelfth Street was once lined with businesses, but most burned down or were left vacant and nothing took their place. Now, two projects—one led by the city and one by private developers—are bringing new life to the area.
Gordon Park, right at the site where the rebellion started, was one of dozens of city parks to receive renovations that were announced by the mayor. The park has a stage, landscaping, fitness equipment, and a playground. On Sunday, July 23, the 50th anniversary of when the rebellion started, a historic marker in the park was unveiled to commemorate the events.
Across the street at Atkinson and Rosa Parks Boulevard, plans are underway for a $12 million development that would renovate one house into a cultural center and build three mixed-use buildings. According to the Detroit News, Karasi Development will redevelopment the home at the corner into the the Karasi Education & Cultural Center: “The group is in talks with the Motown Museum and the Rosa Parks Institute for potential partnerships at the center.”
Karasi would also like to build three mixed-use buildings in the area, with retail, restaurants, and residential. According to the Detroit News, “The owners of the popular Ethiopian restaurant Blue Nile, with locations in Ferndale and Ann Arbor, have expressed interest in being part of the development.”
This could be a major boost to the area, which has potential redevelopments and renovations nearby. The Herman Kiefer complex is just a few blocks to the east on Clairmount. Many homes a few streets to the north in Boston-Edison have been renovated and selling this year. The Motown Museum will be undergoing a big expansion. And maybe, just maybe, the troubled Lee Plaza on West Grand Boulevard could see new life again.