EASTPOINTE, Mich. (WXYZ) — City council members are looking to bring a social district to Eastpointe. The plan is to put a gathering area somewhere on Kelly St. between Rosetta and Empire.
“I think it's a bad idea to bring liquor and social gathering to the streets," says one store owner who does not want to be identified.
Other business owners think the opposite.
“When there is a community that is thriving, and growing people want to move in, and it helps all of us. It helps our property value go up," said Kenyetta Mathes.
Mathes owns K. Mathes Insurance Agency on Gratiot Ave.
"If it's going to give our families more opportunities to go out and have fun on Kelly. I’m all for it," she adds.
The plan is to attract restaurant, bar, and brewery owners into some of the vacant storefronts on Kelly St.
“Certain areas of Kelly, buildings have been going vacant. So, what can we do to make Kelly vibrant again?" said Council Member Cardi DeMonaco Jr.
DeMonaco and Council Member Sarah Lucido proposed the idea to the council during a recent meeting.
“With new businesses that come to Eastpointe it’s going to increase our tax revenue to give us more money and resources to put into other things," said Lucido.
Saint Claire Shores and Royal Oak recently joined the list of cities across the state that give residents outdoor drinking areas in a specific area.
The social district would take place on specific Saturday's blocking off a section of the road.
The state passed a bill in July of 2020 allowing businesses to serve alcohol to customers to drink outside in restricted areas.
"I think it will bring riff-raff and underage drinking," said one business owner.
City leaders say they do have a plan for the community's concern on crime.
“I’d just make sure we have our police patrol the area more often and make sure things are going well," adds DeMonaco.
Council does plan to further discuss this idea during their next council meeting. Now that the idea is out there, they hope it will attract businesses to come to the proposed area.
“If they know that council is on board with making this happen it will encourage them to come to Eastpointe.”