Beginning with a feasibility study in 2017, followed by further community engagement opportunities that asked Grandmont Rosedale residents and business owners what they would like to see in their community, a theme emerged. Residents and small business owners love their community and they don’t want to leave. Once residents no longer wish to live in a single family house, many of them have to leave Grandmont Rosedale to find alternative housing. Too often residents sought goods and services that were not offered in Grandmont Rosedale, and so they spent their money elsewhere. Community members envisioned a community that provided a way for them to stay in the community they love without owning a single-family home, and more opportunities for residents to spend their dollars in their own community. As these issues consistently emerged as a result of community engagement, GRDC began the exciting process of building a new, mixed-use development on Grand River in the heart of our community that will include senior housing.
This development will coincide with the renovation of residential housing units on Outer Drive. Together the renovated apartments and the new development will create a campus that will include retail small business spaces, and interactive community spaces where all Grandmont Rosedale residents can gather for activities such as yoga or a cooking class, enjoy live music, or even just to have a cup of coffee and chat. The retail spaces will be open to everyone in the Grandmont Rosedale community and this development will allow our residents to age in place.
ENRICHING OUR SMALL BUSINESS COMMUNITY
FoodLab Detroit, the Detroit-based organization committed to healthy food accessibility for all Detroit residents, will be partnering with GRDC to bring healthy, local food retail and dining options to the space, offering a platform for small business food entrepreneurs in Detroit to truly shine.
This is an exciting and ambitious new project for GRDC and the entire community. GRDC will work with an experienced multifamily development partner who, as Executive Director Sherita Smith says, “will help us fulfill the community vision to make this section of Grand River a walkable destination for dining and entertainment with more diverse housing options.”
CONTINUING RESIDENT COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Grandmont Rosedale has a long history of residents who are involved in creating the kind of community they envision. This historic energy inspired GRDC to apply for and receive a Kresge Foundation Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit (KIP:D) grant. This planning grant would support research and development of a resident investment option to financially support the project through shared ownership. Economic Development Manager Kiki Louya is particularly excited about this option: “What better way to tap into the collective, historic wisdom of the community than to give residents the option to invest in the community in which they live?”
MAKING A COMMUNITY FOR THE FUTURE
This development will significantly contribute to the stability of the Grandmont Rosedale community. Many of our elders are experienced community activists. In many ways the Grandmont Rosedale community owes its longevity and stability to our elders. With this new development, they need not leave the community they helped create, and the entire community will benefit from their remaining here. The presence of new businesses and new community spaces will further ensure that future generations will know and experience the wonderful sense of community that has sustained so many for so many years.
If you’d like to learn more, tune in to the Facebook Live event on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 6 pm through www.facebook.com/GrandmontRosedaleDevelopment
You can also stop by the Northwest Detroit Farmers’ Market, 18445 Scarsdale, on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 4 – 7 pm and chat with GRDC Executive Director Sherita Smith about this exciting new development.