At the Detroit Sticky meeting, we had a hard time choosing which neighborhood to highlight for the “Our Favorite Neighborhood” feature. I don’t think I’ve ever before been a part of a debate about which is the BEST neighborhood in Detroit, so the experience was refreshing. We settled on Midtown, and the list of assets we produced will make it easy to see why. But also under consideration were Southwest Detroit – which has a history of hosting every immigrant population to come through this city, and is currently home to Mexicantown and some of the only grocery stores within city limits – and Northwest, with its neighborhood sensibilities and the presence of Marygrove, U of D, and other schools.
But Midtown won – and you’ll see from this impressive list of assets that Detroiters value everything from the anchor institutions to the sidewalks to the optimism of the student population.
List of Assets:
Wayne State, College for Creative Studies, Detroit Institute of Art, Science Center, Museum of African-American History, Skillman Building, MOCAD, Majestic Complex, Orchestra Hall, Hillberry Theater, Henry Ford Hospital, Avalon Breads, Traffic Jam & Snug, Bureau of Urban Living, Beans & Bites, Honest Johns, the Inn on Ferry, Circa 1890, WDET, Woodward Avenue, the Whitney, the 1st Unitarian Universalist Church, Buddhism Center, sidewalks, regular buses on Woodward, The Hub (bike shop), view of downtown and the New Center, proximity to the Lodge and 75, recycling facility, college students, “best water in the world,” diversity, housing in various ranges (crumbling to new), walkability, “newness,” optimism of academia: flow of ideas and “note of idealism,” perception of new development as a positive: “activity as an intangible”
It’s not perfect though, and our group did have a few recommendations:
greater police presence, more mixed-use development, incentives for small businesses and grocery stores, live-work developments