A half-mile stretch of McNichols Road is the latest target of Detroit’s streetscape improvement project, a citywide effort to make commercial corridors more pedestrian-friendly and walkable while at the same time enhancing them through beautification efforts to attract new businesses and residents.
The announcement is the first of five streetscape improvement projects expected to be announced this year. Last year, the program’s first, included projects along stretches of Livernois, Grand River, and Bagley Street.
The portion of McNichols Road slated for improvements, from Greenlawn to Livernois Avenue, borders the Fitzgerald and Bagley neighborhoods, two neighborhoods identified by area Realtors as ones to watch for 2020.
It’s investments like these that make the neighborhoods popular destinations for real estate agents, Detroit Realtor Perrin T. Emanuel told us in an article surveying city real estate markets earlier this year.
"We’re trying to keep Detroit from becoming a tale of two cities. A lot of neighborhoods are waiting for that next wave of development to catch up to them," Emanuel said.
"Reinvestment in the commercial corridors helps sell the neighborhoods, and especially if the buyer is not from the area. Because then we don’t have to just talk about the house but also everything going on around it."
Improvements to the streetscape include:
- New sidewalks
- New road pavement
- Protected bike and scooter lane
- MOGO bikeshare stations
- Enhanced transit stops
- On-street parking
Following a late-winter bidding process, construction for the project will begin in May 2020.
The streetscape improvements complement the neighborhood-wide Fitzgerald Revitalization Project already underway in the community. Among the many investments in the neighborhood include the newly constructed Ella Fitzgerald Park, a greenway that connects the campuses of University of Detroit Mercy and Marygrove College, and the rehabilitation of 13 formerly vacant homes.
The city also announced that 16 more homes will undergo renovations this year with an additional 38 planned for 2021 through 2024.
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