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Strategic Neighborhoods Fund gets $35M corporate boost

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Seven companies gave $5 million each

Courtesy of the City of Detroit

The Detroit program which aims to invest in development in specific neighborhoods around the city snagged a huge corporate boost today. Seven companies—American Axle & Manufacturing, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Chemical Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Flagstar Bank, Huntington Bank, and Penske Corporation—are committing $5 million each to the city’s Strategic Neighborhoods Fund.

This fund started with three areas—Livernois/McNichols, Southwest/West Vernor, and Islandview/Greater Villages. Parks, lighting, and residential developments have come about since the program was started. The city announced earlier this year that seven more neighborhoods—Grand River Northwest, Jefferson Chalmers, Russell Woods/Nardin Park, Campau/Banglatown, Warrendale/Cody-Rouge, Gratiot/7-Mile, and East Warren/Cadieux—would be part of the fund.

Community engagement will guide planning in each of the neighborhoods over the course of the next five years. The city expects the funding to improve the neighborhoods in the following ways:

Park improvements, including the creation of new parks and improvements to existing parks by adding amenities based on residents’ needs.

Commercial development to fill vacant storefronts and lots, with mixed-use and multifamily projects along commercial corridors.

Streetscape improvements, including street and sidewalk repaving and redesigns to create walkable, beautiful streets that are attractive to businesses and pedestrians alike.

Single-family home stabilization to renovate and preserve existing vacant houses, build density and create affordable housing in these neighborhoods.

Affordable housing development, to fight displacement where there is growth.

“We’ve been working closely with the community in every neighborhood to encourage and empower the residents to stay and be a part of this city’s comeback,” said Maurice Cox, director of planning and development. “The people of Detroit who have stayed through the good times and the bad must continue to be at the forefront of this effort. We want to make sure that Detroit’s recovery includes them, because they are Detroit’s future.”

Those wanting to get involved with planning in their neighborhood should contact their district manager or check in on the city’s planning site.