Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, along with city and community partners, announced a plan to revitalize many of the city's commercial business corridors by investing $125 million in bond funds.
By making the business districts more attractive and pedestrian friendly, the city aims to recapture some of the estimated $2.6 billion in retail spending Detroit residents do annually in surrounding communities, according to a study by the Detroit Economic Development Corporation.
Duggan wil submit his proposal to Detroit City Council and request its approval for the sale of $125 million in bonds.
Approximately $80 million of the bond revenue would fund major infrastructure improvements along the city's commercial corridors, including Livernois-McNichols, West Vernor and East Warren.
The other $45 million will complement existing road funds to improve 300 miles of city roads and replace broken sections of sidewalk across the city.
Corridor improvements include landscaping and reconfiguring traffic lanes to add bike lanes, improved street parking and wider sidewalks for outdoor cafe seating.
"Every day, many Detroiters drive from their homes past underutilized business districts to shop outside of our city," Duggan said. "Using these bond funds, we are going to revitalize many of our neighborhood commercial corridors to create vibrant, attractive districts so Detroiters have a place to shop in their own neighborhood."
According to the DEGC report, major improvements will bring millions of dollars back to some of the city's retail corridors.
"People are drawn to attractive places, not just to shop, but to live," said Planning Director Maurice Cox. "Our goal is to create beautiful retail districts that are uniquely Detroit and offer the kinds of services and amenities that will attract people from surrounding neighborhoods and surrounding cities."
Under Duggan's proposal, no city general fund dollars will be used to pay back the bonds and no road maintenance activities or construction projects will be cut.