The City of Detroit Planning and Development Department will present a new plan this evening for the East Warren/Cadieux neighborhoods in alignment with the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund. Increased support for businesses, affordable housing, and improved parks are part of the multi-million-dollar plan.
PPD’s plan, bringing at least $7.5 million in investments in the neighborhood, will build on current momentum in the area, which has seen a handful of new businesses opening, blighted homes demolished, and a number of vacant homes revitalized. The project is the eighth of 10 Strategic Neighborhood Fund plans to be completed.
“This plan allows us to leverage the things happening in the neighborhood and increase the quality of life and value for existing residents,” says Katy Trudeau, interim director of PDD. “This is a historic corridor for the city of Detroit, and we are excited how the plan honors the corridor’s history while supporting new businesses in the neighborhood at the same time.”
A major goal is stabilizing the MorningSide and Cornerstone Village neighborhoods through rehabilitating vacant homes and demolishing others, though residents have told the city they prefer revitalizing over complete removal. Funding from Proposal N, which voters approved in Detroit, will support these efforts, according to the city.
Parks and other greenways — namely Balduck Park — will be re-envisioned to have better circulation and be more connected to the surrounding communities. The city’s General Services Department will begin making improvements to trail and park signage in the spring.
Supporting current and new businesses in the area, specifically those owned by people of color, is also a priority in this plan. Improving the streetscape is central to this goal, according to the city, because having a welcoming storefront and surrounding area will encourage business. Goals including fixing sidewalks and lighting, slowing traffic, and finding tenants for vacant storefronts. This will be done through assisting with development through programs such as Motor City Match.
Residential projects with city assistance such as land sales, assistance with state or federal funding, or tax breaks must reserve at least 20 percent of units for affordable housing under the plan.
“The East Warren/Cadieux corridor is an integral part of the revitalization of Detroit,” says Andre Spivey, a council member who represents District 4, which includes the neighborhood. “The history of this area has a connecting line to its present activities, filled with strong neighborhoods, new businesses, and improved infrastructure.”
This plan comes after a year and a half of obtaining feedback from the community through weekly Zoom calls, canvassing 6,100 households, 720 respondents to surveys, 3,800 postcards and online interaction.
“I’d like to thank the community for helping to create and guide this plan,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “It is critically important that those who live in the neighborhood guide its future. This makes this effort a true partnership between the city, residents and our corporate and philanthropic sponsors through the Strategic Neighborhood Fund. Together, we are providing more opportunities for residents and making our neighborhoods better places to call home and to raise a family.”
The Strategic Neighborhood Fund was launched in 2017, then expanded from three to 10 neighborhoods in 2018. Corporate partners support these community projects and have given more than $50 million across projects so far. The corporate partner in East Warren/Cadieux is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, whose president and CEO, Daniel J. Loepp, grew up in the neighborhood.
Beyond its financial contribution, BCBSM is partnering with ChenMed to open a primary care center in the neighborhood. Loepp says he is hopeful these investments will benefit the area in the long term.
“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is proudly headquartered in Detroit, and many of our employees call the city and the region home,” says Loepp. “…we know how important it is for our core communities to be healthy and vibrant.
After the East Warren/Cadieux presentation taking place tonight, the next project to be unveiled is the Warrendale/Cody Rouge neighborhood in District 7 in May. Attend tonight’s Zoom meeting here. It takes place at 6 p.m., and the password is 093734.