The Fitzgerald District Revitalization Project

The Fitzgerald District Revitalization Project

Back in 2017, Mayor Mike Duggan announced that Detroit would be the first city in the entire country to completely rebuild a struggling neighborhood. The goal for the Fitzgerald Revitalization Project is to transform this targeted area by addressing every publicly owned vacant lot and house. By removing blighted structures, beautifying vacant lots and creating homes for new residents, this will contribute to the stabilization of Detroit altogether by increasing property values and improving the quality of life. With assistance from developers and funders, 115 homes and 200 vacant lots are called to be renovated and cleared, a park and greenway to be built, and parts of a nearby commercial strip to be redeveloped. Projected costs are $12 to $15 million.

This plan was set to be finished by fall of 2019 but the city has experienced some pushback. Because of unrealistic expectations of completion within the timeline, miscommunication between the city and developers, and a decrease in funding by almost $300,000 due to project delays, this has lead to a new project completion date of December 2020.

The Fitzgerald District Revitalization Project
The Fitz Forward team, which is a joint venture and led by Detroit-based development firms Century Partners and The Platform, are handling the lots and rehab homes.

There have been many challenges facing this project in leu of complete execution. 90% of these homes require a gut rehabnew windows, walls, flooring, HVAC and electrical and plumbing work. Clearing titles for each property has become very time consuming as well. The city sold lots for $300 and homes for $1000 to Fitz Forward but rehabbing costs are around $80,000 per home. So far, they've cleared 140 lots, boarded up 92 homes, demolished another 24, and created 20 meadows by planting wildflowers, installing seating, and putting up partial fencing in the area.

The company has purchased 56 homes. It's good to know most future homes will be listed for at least $100,000 and up.
The Fitzgerald District Revitalization Project
Ella Fitzgerald Park was completed and introduced to the city in 2018, which features a beautiful handmade mosaic mural, a basketball court, painted symbols on the streets which are designed to slow traffic and a playground, all spread across 2.5 acres of land.

There are also plans to connect a .5 mile greenway between Marygrove College and the University of Detroit Mercy this fall.

The Fitzgerald District Revitalization Project
The Fitzgerald District Revitalization Project
The Fitzgerald Revitalization Project represents one part of a larger Livernois/McNichols Corridor Revitalization Plan. This strategy focuses on addressing physical, social, and economic challenges in Northwest Detroit. The planning area includes more than ten different neighborhoods, one of which is Fitzgerald. The goal is to create and sustain a vibrant, attractive community by focusing on 6 key initiatives: Safety and Public services, Planning and Place making, Multifamily Residential development, Neighborhood stabilization, Small Business and Retail development and Transit and Mobility.
The Fitzgerald District Revitalization Project

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