Photo: Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Lions, through its philanthropic efforts with Hatch Detroit to benefit the metro area, is investing $150,000 to improve the strip of shops on Agnes Street in West Village.
In addition, the Villages Community Development Corp., a nonprofit that promotes economic development for the Villages of Detroit, said today it plans to move its offices into the area and hopes the upgrades will stimulate more small businesses.
“The Lions partnership with Hatch Detroit and investment in the West Village furthers our commitment to Detroit’s resurgence and our focus on areas of critical need,” Rob Wooley, Lions director of community relations said in a statement. “Through this effort, the Lions will continue to make a stronger and more lasting impact on one of Detroit’s historic neighborhoods.”
The effort is part of the football team’s initiative, Living for the City, to support organizations that aim to improve physical fitness, eating habits, housing, environmental planning, public transportation, community infrastructure and job opportunities.
Hatch Detroit is a nonprofit that aims to boost small businesses and add more storefronts.
Plans in West Village include facadeimprovements— new windows, more lights — at Agnes and Van Dyke, four new bike racks and more signs for Craft Work bar and restaurant, Red Hook coffee shop, Tarot & Tea and Detroit Vegan Soul. Lights along the strip are to be repaired, and new ones will be installed in the parking lot behind the businesses.
The project is expected to be finished by September.
West Village — which is bounded by Kercheval, Parker, East Jefferson and Seyburn — is one of six neighborhoods that the Lions targeted in its initiative. The others are North End, Corktown, southwest Detroit, Grandmont Rosedale and the Avenue of Fashion in northwest Detroit.
“We see the redevelopment of these commercial strips as critical to the revitalization of the entire region,” Vittoria Katanski, executive director of Hatch Detroit, said. “Our work aims to assist entrepreneurs who are already contributing to their communities and their neighborhoods’ growth.”