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ACC’s Community & Neighborhood Development Initiative:
The Seven Mile Project

 Building a Better Community

ACC’s Seven Mile Project, a Community & Neighborhood Development Initiative, is aimed at revitalizing the area both economically and residentially. Divided into three phases, the project has provided a glimmer of hope on the long-abandoned Seven Mile Road nestled between John R Road and Woodward Avenue. The project received its “COOL CITIES” designation by the Governor’s office in 2005.

The Seven Mile Project was developed to address the pressing needs of the surrounding community with an end result of a healthier and more dynamic community. This project promises outstanding growth potential for the Seven Mile community.  ACC strategy for the Seven Mile Development Initiative is a five point approach to neighborhood revitalization.

1. Creating a clean and safe living and working environment.
2. Designing a commercial, destination corridor with an ethnic, Middle Eastern theme.
3. Supporting the initiative with ACC staff, 45 taskforce volunteers, and local merchants.
4. Restructuring Economic Redevelopment through systematic planning.
5. Promoting the re-birth of the area with street fairs and festivals, newsletters, and banners.

Among the activities included are the Storefront Improvement Project, Town Hall Meetings, Neighborhood Clean Ups, Business Development, Streetscape Design/Improvements, and Community Outreach.

Governor designates ACC Seven Mile Project Cool Cities Neighborhood
Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth Director Robert W. Swanson represented Governor Granholm by awarding the 2006 Cool Cities Grants & Planning Programs designees at ACC’s Youth Recreation & Leadership Center on Wednesday, July 19. ACC’s Seven Mile Project received the Cool Cities “Neighborhoods in Progress” designation, priority access to “tool box” items, and a $100,000 grant. The Seven Mile Project was awarded due to its close partnerships with existing community organizations and its plans to create large-scale neighborhood/community improvements.

The Cool Cities designations are part of Governor Granholm’s economic plan to revitalize Michigan’s cities by retaining and attracting jobs and people to grow Michigan’s economy. The Cool Cities program utilizes existing state resources, which are used more efficiently through the collaboration of state agencies. Funds provided by the Cool Cities grant will assist in the completion of ACC’s Artisan Center and Park.

Phase 1:The Community Initiative
In the place of what was once a social club then an abandoned building, now stands a thriving community health  and social services outreach center open to all residents in the surrounding community.  The center was completed in 1998.

The total renovation effort that resulted in the ACC Detroit Headquarters was made possible through seed money from the United Way Capital Campaign. The grand opening of  the ACC Detroit Headquarters located at 111 W. Seven Mile Road was an important milestone for the organization. The facility houses an impressive one-stop shop array of medical, employment training, and numerous educational programs and services for all those in need of assistance.  Also located on site is the Cultural Arts and Conference Center which features a permanent exhibit of Middle Eastern art and artifacts.

(Before and After):
  

 

Phase 2: Business Development and Community Revitalization
Improving Seven Mile storefront façades created an inviting and aesthetically pleasing shopping area. The project completed seven facades and is working with more business owners to improve the Seven Mile Business District.

Revitalizing the Seven Mile Corridor by opening the Youth Recreation and Leadership Center located at 62 W. Seven Mile Road was a much-needed facility for the area. The Youth Center provides a variety of activities and educational programs for the area youth looking to becoming contributing and responsible citizens.

Store Front Improvement Project – Great strides have been made in this unique initiative in which ACC supports and creates incentives for business owners to initiate improvements in store front, thus creating an inviting and aesthetically pleasing shopping atmosphere. To date seven facades have been completed to improve the Seven Mile Business District.

 

 ACC Youth Recreation & Leadership Center – (313) 369-3100
62 W. Seven Mile Road, Detroit, MI 48203
Opened in 2005, the center provides a safe and healthy environment where youth participate in a  variety of activities and programs.  The center is equipped with a gymnasium, computer lab, program offices, a community board room and a dental clinic.

(Before and After):

 

 

Phase 3: Neighborhood Renewal
Phase Three will result in an even greater interest in living in the Seven Mile Area. When a strong, safe pedestrian friendly business district is in place with numerous cultural attractions, convenient access and adequate parking, residential renewal is a natural next step. The expansion of services available at the Artisan and Adult Learning Center will also prove to be enticing for residents to settle in the neighborhood.

Through an articulation of public and private resources for urban renewal, the already culturally rich residential community is also undergoing a transformation. ACC is in the process of renovating and beautifying the Seven Mile Corridor with its Streetscape Project and Community Pocket Park.  The result will be a vibrant commercial and residential district that will benefit the City of Detroit and surrounding communities.

ACC Artisan and Adult Learning Center – (313) 369-4700
55  W. 7 Mile Road, Detroit, MI 48203
Initiating the Artisan and Adult Learning Center, ACC aims to encourage artists of diverse and ethnic and racial backgrounds the opportunity to preserve, promote, and adopt traditional artistic experiences.  The completed 13,000-square-foot building houses workspace for artists as well as a gallery area and a Middle Eastern-themed café. The second floor is committed to adult education and features a computer lab, conference room, program offices and an adult learning center that will provide programs that promote achievement and increase individual well being.

Seven Mile Streetscape – Our architectural and design committee is working closely with the urban planning firm of McKenna and Associates to put the finishing touches on this phase of the project. This project was funded by the Michigan Department of Transportation with help from Wayne County Parks and Recreation.  The Seven Mile Streetscape includes: Sidewalk Improvements, Brick Pavers, Street Trees, Crosswalk Specialty Paving, Planting Beds, Trash receptacles, Park Benches. 

Community Pocket Park – On the site of building 99 and the current parking lot, ACC, with support from Wayne County and the private sector, constructed a Community Pocket Park for the enjoyment of the total community.  The park provides benches, improved lighting, trash receptacles, decorative pavers, and a venue to enjoy the outdoors in a clean and safe environment.



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