Exciting changes begin in McNichols neighborhood

HomeBase will fill an abandoned building with resources the community needs to continue the revitalization of the area around the McNichols Campus.
HomeBase will fill an abandoned building with resources the community needs to continue the revitalization of the area around the McNichols Campus.

It continues to be an exciting time in the historic Fitzgerald Neighborhood surrounding the McNichols Campus as the groundbreaking for two new community assets, the Neighborhood Homebase and Ella Fitzgerald Park, was held Tuesday afternoon.

The HomeBase, located on McNichols Road, will house the Live6 Alliance, the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) and shared space for various city of Detroit staff and community groups.

“With the future opening of the Homebase Community Center, Live6 Alliance has a permanent home that will serve as an important community asset,” University of Detroit Mercy President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., said. “Live6 Alliance continues to play a vital role in Detroit’s continued resurgence. The impact is really tangible, and the organization continues to build and establish linkages, particularly in the community.”

The Live6 Alliance was founded two years ago with support from The Kresge Foundation, Detroit Mercy and the Detroit Economic Growth Corportation to facilitate new efforts and complement initiatives along the McNichols and Livernois commercial corridors.

“Detroit Mercy’s role in this effort is primarily to be a convener, a conduit and a facilitator so that we can achieve Live6 Alliance’s four primary goals: placemaking, neighborhood stabilization, business attraction and retention, and also safety and security,” Garibaldi said.

The groundbreaking for Ella Fitzgerald Park begins what will be an exciting two years of activity in the Fitzgerald neighborhood. The new 2.5-acre city park will have a multipurpose sports field and basketball court, as well as play equipment and greenspace.

“We’re going to break ground on Ella Fitzgerald Park, which by next summer will have basketball courts, grills and picnic areas, and walking trails,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said. “It will be a place of beauty at the center of this neighborhood. It’s going to connect up to a bike and walking trail that will bisect this entire neighborhood.”

The Ella Fitzgerald Park groundbreaking is the first major construction of the two-year Fitzgerald Revitalization Project led by the city, which will see some 115 vacant homes rehabbed for rental or sale, 16 demolished and nearly 200 vacant lots turned into greenways, gardens, flowering meadows or other community assets.

The Platform and Century Partners were announced earlier this year as developers for the residential development for the quarter-square-mile within the Livernois-McNichols area that is home to 600 families.

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