City of Detroit turns development efforts toward westside neighborhood

A new initiative looks to boost the Fitzgerald area near Six Mile and Livernois.

TThe City of Detroit today announces the Fitzgerald Revitalization Project, an initiative aimed at the rehabilitation of vacant and dilapidated parcels in a westside neighborhood.  

The new organization has set a goal to rehabilitate empty land plots in the neighborhood, bounded by Livernois, Fenkell, Wyoming and McNichols, while also increasing the safety of the community and the overall property value. The organization partner with long-standing academic institutions in the area, including Marygrove College and University of Detroit Mercy, other historic neighborhoods, and commercial corridors in order to convert abandoned properties into recreational and communal areas.

Through its efforts, the city is looking to revitalize land for 100 vacant buildings and 257 vacant lots in the Fitzgerald neighborhood.

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“We are excited about the prospects of using landscape design and preservation of existing homes to support neighborhood redevelopment and eliminate blight,” Maurice Cox, the city’s planning director, says in a news release. “This has the power to transform and contribute to the neighborhood revitalization of Fitzgerald.”

“We expect that Fitzgerald will lead the way in improving quality of life in some of our other neighborhoods,” he adds.

The announcement follows a wave of new development in the city. Last week, several black developers announced plans for a revitalized entertainment district downtown paying homage to the original Paradise Valley. And the neighborhoods in proximity in Fitzgerald have been paid special attention thanks to the efforts of the Live6 Alliance.

The FRP will be implementing its initiative through creating neighborhood parks and greenways to be maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department, partnering with one or more landscape developers or development teams to create self-sustaining and productive landscapes, and partnering with housing developers to rehabilitate salvageable land to implement low-maintenance landscape strategies.

The City of Detroit and the Greening of Detroit are also combining forces to incubate workforce development for residents in the Fitzgerald area. They’re asking for community members help in the revitalization of their own neighborhoods.

“Our strategy is focused on creating a mixed-income neighborhood with both ownership and professionally managed rental housing and open space,” said Arthur Jemison, head of the city’s Housing and Revitalization Department. “There will be a place for every kind of Detroiter, and because of the affordable housing component, as the neighborhood continues to improve, we will continue to have a place for affordable housing.

For more information about The Fitzgerald Revitalization Project and how you can lend a hand, visit fitzgerald-detroit.com or detroitmi.gov/fitzgerald.

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