Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Unexpected good news

To my surprise, the News is reporting that plans to build an $80-million outdoor mall at 8 Mile and Woodward are proceeding. Yes, the project has already been delayed for two years, and today is April Fools' Day, but if the developers are to be believed, construction could actually begin as soon as next month. If constructed, the Shoppes at Gateway Park would be the largest commercial development built in Detroit in fifty years.

The mall would also mark a major transformation of the corridor. While the neighborhoods to the west (Palmer Woods, Sherwood Forest) are among Detroit's most affluent, the area just south and east of the proposed mall is as desolate as any in the city, with vacant lots and burned out homes outnumbering occupied dwellings. What's more, the major anchor of the area, the State Fairgrounds, is being shut down by the state. So the new mall will truly be a turn of events.

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