Detroit Design 139

Neighborhood Planning

Mixtape - East Warren

Redefining the Future of the Historic Neighborhood Corridor

East Warren is an inactive retail corridor situated between the city’s Morningside and East English Village neighborhoods

Project Details

Submitted By:

  • Location: East Warren & East Outer Drive
  • SmithGroup JJR

Three Strategies for Short and Long-Term Success

East Warren is an inactive retail corridor situated between the city’s Morningside and East English Village neighborhoods. Current trends of large-scale retail destinations and on-line shopping, compounded with decades of disinvestment and depopulation, have left the East Warren corridor significantly vacant. Anchored by the historic Alger Theater and the Jefferson Branch Public Library, this neighborhood-oriented corridor is defined by its historic assets and underutilized, but mostly intact, zero-lot line commercial building stock. As communicated by the neighborhood residents, design outcomes must address 1) the historic Alger Theater as catalyst for commercial corridor regeneration, and 2) an improved sense of place. The immediate deployment of corridor placemaking tactics quickly reinforces community identity, demonstrating the importance of a neighborhood’s commercial street as social place. Running parallel, strategic adaptive reuse projects trigger future opportunities for adjacent spaces to become dynamic venues.