Mack Avenue Corridor Development Plan
The Mack Avenue Corridor Development Plan is a comprehensive physical and economic development framework for the Mack Avenue commercial corridor. MACC Development is leading this project in collaboration with residents, business and property owners, and church and community leaders.
The corridor is a thirteen block stretch on Mack Avenue, consisting of churches, businesses, and vacant land and properties.
Stakeholder engagement was an integral component of the planning process to gain input and feedback on the project from local residents, business owners, property owners, and church and community leaders. The engagement included larger community stakeholder meetings combined with individual stakeholder meetings to obtain a variety of perspectives.
The top priority goals that emerged from the stakeholder engagement include a desire for more food options (fast-casual restaurants and grocery stores in walkable distance that provide fresh food options); family entertainment and fitness, a computer learning center, connected green spaces, a library, an entrepreneur resource center as well as improved safety and retail options. Furthermore, a community center/gym/movie theatre at the former Macedonia Church, an improved grocery store at the Amazing Z’s site, a family space in the open space near Dairy Ice Cream, and a crosswalk at Burns Street for students attending Nichols Elementary and Detroit Waldorf School were all suggested.
Placemaking is about programming public spaces for people. Placemaking activities can be a great way to generate excitement within the community around a place. They can help the community redefine and reimagine Mack Avenue as a place that is welcoming, hospitable, and fun for residents. They can also help galvanize the community to reinvent vacant land in ways to better support the neighborhood. The community should weigh which placemaking ideas illustrated on the following page should be implemented and where. Clustering activities rather than spreading them out will better help to define hubs for people to gather and meet.
Alternative Land Uses
The implementation of alternative land use strategies can be a useful approach to the stewardship of vacant land on Mack Avenue while also serving as a tool for community building. The community should weigh which alternative land use ideas illustrated on the following page should be implemented on Mack Avenue. Possible strategies include community gardens, pocket parks, rain gardens, and orchards. These approaches can also serve as green infrastructure to address manage stormwater runoff.
Detroit’s street infrastructure was constructed to support quick and efficient automobile traffic flow into and out of the Downtown, including the east/west commuter streets Mack Avenue, Vernor Highway, Charlevoix Street, and Forest Avenue. This has led to a condition of wide roadways accommodating multiple lanes of traffic often to the detriment of pedestrians and bicyclists. However, with renewed interest in walkable communities at the heart of a larger economic development and neighborhood revitalization strategy, the businesses, organizations, and residents of Mack Avenue are reassessing how they move through the corridor with a recommendation for non-motorized transportation on Mack Avenue.
“With renewed interest in walkable communities at the heart of a larger economic development and neighborhood revitalization strategy, the businesses, organizations, and residents of Mack Avenue are reassessing how they move through the corridor with a recommendation for non-motorized transportation on Mack Avenue.”
A non-motorized transportation strategy for Mack Avenue aims to achieve a better balance between automobile, pedestrian, and bike users on the corridor. The strategy includes buffered bike lanes that allow bikers safe travel lanes separated from vehicular traffic calming “slow zones,” and improved pedestrian crossings with strategic crosswalks. Additionally, non-motorized transportation, from walking to biking, provides a healthy, no/low cost form of transportation at a fraction of the implementation cost of larger transportation systems. The need for more diverse mobility options takes on greater importance in the 48214 zip code, where 35% of residents do not have access to a motor vehicle.
Further, the non-motorized transportation plan for Mack Avenue would connect to Detroit’s Non-Motorized Master Plan, a connected system of protected bike lanes to link neighborhoods, job centers, and destinations throughout the city. MACC Development will be working with the city’s Department of Public Works and the 48214 community to implement this plan to support greater mobility options on Mack Avenue.
In Collaboration With:
- Business Owners
- Mack Alive!
- District 5 City Council
- Taproot Investments
- The Villages CDC
- Michigan Community Resources
- Pingree Park Community Association
- Riverview Block Club
- Parker Street Block Club
- Maxwell Block Club
- Charlevoix Village Association
- Sheridan Block Club
- Mt. Zion Baptist Church
- Greater Christ Baptist Church
- Genesis Lutheran Church
- GenesisHOPE Community Development Corporation
- Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church
- St. Augustine & St. Monica
- Mack Avenue Community Church