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Magnificent Midtown

Midtown Detroit has new businesses, a medical district, museums, a research university and a major nonprofit organization

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From students and shops to hospitals and museums, bustling Midtown is home to many.

Midtown is made up of several neighborhoods, according to Susan Mosey, president of Midtown Detroit, Inc., a planning and development nonprofit for Midtown. MDI "branded" these areas collectively as "Midtown" about 12 years ago, she says.

MDI has obtained many historic designations for parts of Midtown and offers grant and assistance programs for local businesses, according to its site. MDI also handles beautification and works with Operation Clean, which picks up the neighborhood daily, Mosey notes.

MDI was a partner in The Auburn, an apartment building with business space, Mosey notes, where a slew of new businesses reside.

Mosey says "tons of people" are "looking to open businesses" in Midtown. She notes that in the last year, 24 new businesses have made a home in Midtown-—and there are 12 set to open by the end of the year.

In the Brush Park neighborhood, Joe Groves and his group, the Brush Park Preservation Society, maintain the 200 block of Alfred Street by mowing the lawns of abandoned lots, cleaning up trash and gardening.

"The atmosphere of the grand old houses is magnificent. Knowing what was once there and what is possible is very exciting," Groves says.

Over on Second Avenue in the North Cass district, MDI is partnering with local proprietor Scott Lowell to renovate the Forest Arms apartments, Mosey says.

Over the years, Mosey says the area has "really changed a lot," noting the area's "much higher" residential and commercial occupancy rates.

When it comes to safety, Wayne State University Police Chief Anthony Holt says since he started CompStat meetings in 2008, the area has seen a "steady decline" in crime, with the reduction percentage approaching 50 percent.

Mosey says Midtown has "a lot of the city's legacy assets," nodding to the multitude of art galleries, the university and the medical facilities.

Plus, it's also "becoming a much more walkable community," she says, adding "there's a lot of bicycling activity (and) a lot of people walking now."

Fast Facts

  • The Numbers: Midtown is currently about 96 percent occupied residentially, and 85 percent commercially, Sue Mosey of Midtown Detroit, Inc. says.
  • The Size: Midtown is about two square miles in size, according to the 7.2 Square Miles report on greater downtown Detroit.
  • The Neighborhoods: Midtown is made up of several different areas, including Wayne State University district, Arts Center, North Cass, Medical Center, Cass Park district, Brush Park, New Center and Tech Town, according to Midtown Detroit, Inc.

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