A site informally known as “Vernor Square”, located on the northwest corner of West Vernor Highway and Livernois Avenue in southwest Detroit, will be the subject of a community design workshop next week.

The Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA), one of eight recipients of PlacePlans technical assistance for 2013-2014, had identified the site as a missing link in a vibrant and growing mixed-use corridor along West Vernor Highway. Home to a former city Department of Public Works yard, community leaders and residents have envisioned the untapped potential of the site for many years.

To that end, a technical assistance team from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) visited the area in the fall of 2013, and provided preliminary market research and design ideas for a mixed-use community center with a public plaza to serve as a focal point for this culturally rich and diverse community.

Through assistance provided by the League’s PlacePlans program, SDBA will host a community design workshop to enhance the ULI report’s preliminary recommendations, resulting in a detailed design vision for the Vernor Square site that seamlessly connects to adjacent neighborhoods, and provides a vibrant and unique center to further enhance the corridor’s sense of place.

Design work will be provided by ArchiveDS, a Detroit-based architecture and design firm with a wide body of prior work in the city. Further market research will be conducted by LandUse USA, a Michigan firm with a depth of experience in analyzing non-traditional retail markets.

The community workshop will take place July 8-10 in the storefront of the SDBA offices at 7752 W. Vernor Highway. It will follow the Charrette model, incorporating a series of meetings with area stakeholders and the public to incorporate their real-time feedback into design plans. The design studio will additionally be open to the public for further opportunities to see the work process unfold and provide additional feedback. We encourage all who are interested in the bright future of one of Detroit’s great neighborhoods to participate.

3 Ways to Get Involved

  • Attend the public meeting on Tuesday, July 8 from 6:30-9PM
    • This meeting will give an overview of the site, and explain the purpose of the workshop
  • Attend the public meeting on Thursday, July 10 from 5-7PM
    • This meeting will present concepts based on community feedback
  • Stop in to say “hi”, chat with architects, and give your feedback. Open Tuesday, July 8, 11AM-6PM; Wednesday, July 9, 9AM-6PM; Thursday, July 10, 8AM-5PM