City outlines $4M Fitzgerald neighborhood rehab plan

The City of Detroit outlined a $4 million dollar plan Wednesday to rehabilitate 115 vacant homes.

"I want you to be rejuvenated about it. I want you to be positive about it," said Stephanie Harbin, president of the San Juan Block Club.

There was excitement in the Fitzgerald neighborhood, near Livernois and McNichols, on Detroit's west side.

"It's a little lonely over here right now," a resident said.

Lonely, especially with 131 vacant homes and 242 vacant lots in a quarter mile area.

"I wouldn't say it's nice, I wouldn't say it's bad," said JJ, who lives in the Fitzgerald neighborhood, adding it does need rehabilitation.

Aside from rehabilitating 115 vacant homes, the city will create a two-acre park on the vacant lots, and provide incentives for first time home buyers in the neighborhood.

"We need to have an outstanding school in this neighborhood to attract not just single adults but families with children to come to Fitzgerald," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

Ronnie Jones, a resident who helped clean up Fitzgerald, says there were some problems with the neighborhood.

"There were drug houses and stuff like that, and different fighting gangs all in this neighborhood," he said.

Called Fitz Forward, this is Phase One of a two-year plan, partnering with local developer Century Partners and The Platform to develop this project.

"You start to move a hundred families into this neighborhood, it gets a whole lot easier for Motor City Match and other programs to get new businesses to fill out the storefronts," Duggan said.

Now the city council needs to approve the plan but assuming they do, the Ella Fitzgerald Park should be in within the end of the year.

"We're thumbs up that we are the comeback City of Detroit, God bless you," Harbin said