“What I want in 5 years is what we had 15 years ago. A stronger tax base. I want my children to grow up in a diverse community, and that means we need some milk in our coffee. I hear talk about gentrification, but many times that’s just redevelopment. If redevelopment means I can drive down 6 Mile in the winter without worrying about it being an ice rink, then give me redevelopment. My parents have had a broken water main outside of their house for 5 years, do you think that happens in Downtown Detroit? No way.”
“I used to drive my souped up Chevy Nova through these neighborhoods, I always knew I wanted to live here. We have a unique opportunity to develop a community in Detroit in a very powerful way, one where the residents are a part of the narrative. That’s how you grow in a sustainable way.”
"We need more points of interest for people in the neighborhood, and we need them fast. We've had a 25% turnover in the last 6 years, and those people want options. We need to offer that close to home before our people have established habits of going elsewhere."
"People most definitely care. It's just that a lot of times they're not aware, not being engaged. How are we connecting with different people in different ways? To assume people don't care because they're not aware is dangerous ground. It assumes that the area is there for the taking. That's often where the 'blank slate' mentality comes from."
"There is an amazing home boarded up across the street from me and my 83-year-old neighbor raves about the beautiful piano room inside. I have a dream of creating a Community Development Corporation, one that is focused solely on residential houses. We could secure them, clean them up, and families would love to move into a home like that."
"There are amazing stories in our community. I've never gotten so little done in my life as I have here because I love talking to people that have been here for a long time. The guy on the street corner tells better stories than anyone I know."
"I'm hoping for reinvestment into our community. Investment in the people. Our neighborhood is excited about welcoming new people, but not at the cost of those who have been committed and engaged. As we build the future, we must be aware of and respectful to the past."
"There is a huge opportunity in this area for another tier of businesses to get involved with the businesses that are already here. Who's out there convincing businesses on our street to create better facades? This place needs to be attractive in order to attract people. That increases economic activity, which solves a lot of problems."
"I love what I'm seeing on the level of community engagement and am really looking forward to the next steps of my neighborhood being physically transformed. I can't wait to be able to come home from work and walk to dinner or a night out."
"My house has been in the family for fifty years. We've seen a lot of history in our neighborhood. My neighbor bought an auction house a few years ago, and the year after he bought it it was on the home tour. The people that lived in the house in the 30's saw the article and came to visit him with stories and photos of the house. You don't get history like that in other places."
"I would like to see fruit trees in the neighborhood again! We had cherry trees, apple trees, pear trees... We had all of that in the neighborhood, so if we got hungry and didn’t have any money in the summertime, we could hit a fruit tree."
"Everyone used to meet at Larco's. That parking lot was always full of cars, and all of the neighborhood kids worked there. The neighborhood is changing, definitely. Some houses are falling apart but it's still looking pretty good."
"During the 1970's there was a big push to move UDM to Clarkston, MI. The Jesuits were very strong in their vision that the University would stay in Detroit. They probably lost money because of this decision but they were committed to being in a place where they felt they were needed."