Gerritt: Bing's Plan To Refurbish Retail Districts Showing Results
Truth be told, the machete-like cuts needed to balance Detroit's books will only accelerate the exodus and further erode the city's evaporating tax base, writes Jeff Gerritt of the Free Press.
The only way to stop -- or slow -- the bleeding is to improve Detroit's neighborhoods and the commercial corridors they nourish.
On a small scale, it's already happening on Livernois in northwest Detroit, as well as Vernor in southwest Detroit and West Grand Blvd. north of downtown, Gerritt says.
The three demonstration areas for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's signature Detroit Works Project seek to improve how residents live in one of the nation's poorest big cities. The idea is to build on the assets of relatively stable neighborhoods surrounding still viable business districts, hoping these pockets of energy -- new restaurants, renovated businesses, street art, well-lit and repaved streets -- will provide the economic juice to recharge a community and, eventually, a city.