Framework plan revealed for Grand River Northwest Detroit area

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It's been one year in the making but Detroit residents in 17 northwest neighborhoods will finally see how their community will be transformed into a hotbed of development for the city.

Fox 2 is the first to bring you what's being called a "framework plan" for the Grand River Northwest Detroit area where 38,000 people current live and about 1,000 business are operated.

One of those residents is Joni Mortier. Her home currently overlooks what was once the Rogell golf course. Over the years it's fallen into disrepair but come summer, her view on Berg Street could be quite different.

The city is buying it and wants to turn the 120 acre space into a public park with trails and maybe even kayaking. 

This is one of four targets with the framework for the area. First the parks and public spaces, then comes housing.

The vacant Holcomb Elementary could be turned into 30 units and maybe even have some senior housing as well.

"I live in this big city of Detroit but this feels like country," Joni said. 

The coffee shop Always Brewing on Grandriver is part of a strong network of small businesses. The owner, Tommy, knows there's a need for consistency.

"If you have a business in between that stretch, you might have four or five vacant store fronts," he said. 

The area can support about one million square feet of new retail space, making it one of the most attractive in Detroit.

"It's going to be easy to get new businesses to come and join those existing businesses because there's already a strong community of entrepreneurs here," Tommy said.

$6.8 million is also being funneled into the area to support things like improved lighting, re-striping  and facade improvement. 

Joni and Tommy were among 400 residents in the area who over a year gave input on the plans in over 25 meetings some of what they were looking for was what they saw in the final plan.