Upcoming economic development in Warrendale-Cody Rouge neighborhood focuses on children

Upcoming economic development in Warrendale-Cody Rouge neighborhood focuses on children

The future of Detroit and its neighborhoods is centered around young people and their commitment to stay here and work for the continued improvement of the city and the community.

With that in mind, the City of Detroit is seeking planning and design consultants to create a child-centric development framework plan for the Warrendale-Cody Rouge neighborhood that promotes new development, improves the environment for children and provides new workforce development opportunities.

The request for qualifications was released on April 6 and the consultant will be chosen in early May. Planning is expected to begin by late May and the neighborhood framework strategy should be complete by February 2019.

Warrendale-Cody Rouge is transforming itself one block at a time and making children a priority.

Each study will coordinate planning with existing community groups to identify the key issues and come up with innovative, yet realistic, solutions that the city can implement. Strong community engagement in each neighborhood study will produce community-driven framework plans for the areas

“We are going to work closely with the community in this neighborhood to encourage and empower the residents to remain by creating a better environment for the children,” says Maurice Cox, director of planning and development at the City of Detroit. “We want our children to stay. We want to make sure that Detroit’s recovery includes them, because they are Detroit’s future.”

The consultant chosen will be contracted through Invest Detroit and will work with four private partners to coordinate investment in the area on Detroit’s western edge. The partners are DTE Energy, General Motors, Quicken Loans and the Skillman Foundation. Each of them has partnered with the Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance, the local neighborhood organization, to implement redevelopment strategies to improve the lives of children and families within the neighborhood and has an established commitment to the neighborhood.

  • DTE Energy provides low-income families with energy assistance and piloted a workforce development program for the youth in the area.
  • General Motors engages with a wide array of community partners to make sustainable improvements at area schools and neighborhoods as well as improve the quality of life for residents.
  • Quicken Loans invests in infrastructure and students by installing affordable high speed internet in community gathering spaces and expanding mentorship programs at Cody High School.
  • The Skillman Foundation works with Cody High School to provide financial empowerment services to students and the surrounding neighborhood and supports Linked Learning, which connects high school students to STEM-focused career pathways.
The non-profit Cody-Rouge Community Action Alliance believes the way to revitalize and sustain a healthy community is through strong families, high quality education, robust block clubs, economic revitalization, youth and adult training and a safe environment.

Consultants will be asked to look at ways to improve mobility, housing, education and health and safety. Designs and plans will outline ways to create a stronger neighborhood including:

  • Parks and playgrounds and connect the neighborhood to these areas
  • Housing solutions, including the removal of blighted homes and preservation of affordable housing
  • Ways to design a neighborhood that compliments various stages of a child’s life, especially around schools, including Cody High School
  • Improving the health and safety of the children in the neighborhood and could include plans to build safer routes to schools and gathering spaces.

The Warrendale-Cody Rouge planning effort follows similar strategic planning efforts already underway in several neighborhoods including Southwest, The Villages/Islandview and Grand River/Northwest neighborhoods. Plans already are being implemented in Livernois-McNichols (including the Fitzgerald Revitalization Project) and East Riverfront. It is the second planning effort in District 7 following the Russell Woods effort announced last year.

This planning effort will be the first to focus specifically on building environments that can positively influence child development.

“As we continue to expand our planning efforts in neighborhoods across the city, we need to ensure that there is opportunity for all Detroiters, especially our children,” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “Our planning in the Warrendale-Cody Rouge area will engage with long-time residents to identify ways to improve the neighborhood for the kids.”

Located on the far west side of Detroit, Cody Rouge is a primarily residential neighborhood of roughly 35,000 people. It stretches from M-153 (Ford Road) on the South to I-96 (Jeffries Freeway) on the North and including Rouge River Park on the West over to Greenfield Road on the East.

Warrendale is located in far western Detroit and is bordered by Greenfield East Road, Joy Road, and the Detroit city limits. Warrendale neighbors Dearborn on two sides and Dearborn Heights on another side.

— Photos from Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance website and  Facebook page.


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