Developer aims to overhaul entire neighborhood on Detroit's northwest side

Developer targets Detroit's Fitzgerald neighborhood

By Steve Garagiola - Reporter/Anchor, Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - A Metro Detroit developer is aiming to overhaul an entire Detroit neighborhood and claims to have the resources and the willpower to make it happen.

Detroit's Fitzgerald neighborhood sits in the far northwest corner of the city. On Wednesday, developers announced they were buying more than 300 parcels in the neighborhood. They said they aren't wiping everything out to start over.

"We have the opportunity to make a huge impact, not just a few houses at a time, not just a few lots at a time with one project or another, but really a holistic way of approaching meeting the neighborhood needs and bringing it into the kind of 21st-century, walkable neighborhood that we all want to live in," said Michelle Bolofer, executive director of Century Forward.

The project will rehabilitate about 100 homes, and 260 vacant lots will be turned into gardens, parks and bike trains.

"This is a quarter square mile," Bolofer said. "Just in the sense of how many houses are here, I think there's 1,200 or so parcels here. So we are going to be developing, in connection with the development company, about 360 of these."

The works has begun, and developers want to move fast.

"We'll have about three houses available as early as this summer," said David Alade, of Century Partners Developers. "We think the entire development, the rehabilitation of over 100 homes, will take about two or three years.

"The future of kids that live in this neighborhood is at stake here. We want a neighborhood where they feel comfortable, they're able to have the great resources that any great neighborhood in Detroit has. We take that responsibility really, really serious."

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