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DETROIT-Four Detroit redevelopment projects have been awarded “Cool Cities” funding by the state. The state awarded its second annual round of Cool Cities funding projects this week. A total of 29 projects were designated as part of the Cool Cities program, but only 13 projects around the state were awarded funding, including the four in Detroit. The other projects will receive assistance from statestaffers, but no direct funding.

Winning funding of a $100,000 grant in Detroit include: Woodbridge Neighborhood Development Corp., which is developing the Woodbridge Cultural Corridor; New Center Council Inc. which is developing a new cultural amenity and community meeting place in New Center as it develops its residential core; Greater Corktown Development Corp., which is working on restoration of the Row House; and University Cultural Center Association for the Woodward Willis mixed-Use development.

The Woodbridge Woodbridge Cultural Corridor project is designed to provide an anchor for the Woodbridge neighborhood, support and promote self-sustaining artists, and to preserve architectural history. The project plans include the development of three arts-focused incubators live-work housing, multiple examples of public art, food and beverage and retail space. It is located on Grand River Avenue, immediately north of Corktown. The grant will include façade improvements on nine buildings, some of which have historic designations.

New Center Council Inc.’s primary goal is to develop a new cultural amenity and community meeting place in New Center as the city develops its residential core. The facility will support the council’s efforts in developing a 24-hour district, while offering a variety of cultural programming to the district’s current and future employees and residents. The council will become a ground floor tenant in therehabilitated building. New Center Park improvements will include construction of a three-season concession building, restrooms, perimeter fencing, and a permanent stage canopy that adjusts to a movie screen. The project is located across from the Fisher Building at Southwest Grand and Second Avenue.

Greater Corktown Development Corp. is working on restoration of the Row House, an important piece of nineteenth-century workers’ history, to its original 1850s appearance. The house will be a location for people interested in Corktown to visit and to learn about available housing, entertainment options, investment potential, and/or begin a self-guided audio tour of the historic neighborhood. The GCDC will utilize the Workers Row House Experience as a satellite office, which will enable them to extend their neighborhood outreach efforts. The project is located in southwest Detroit, south of old Tiger Stadium. The catalyst grant will be used to preserve three-unit row house structures, one unit as a museum and two units as a satellite office.

University Cultural Center Association’s Woodward Willis mixed-use development will be constructed on three vacant parcels of land on the northeast corner of Woodward Avenue and West Willis Street. Commercial space will be on the first floor and a small offering of loft-style condominiums on the remaining floors. Two of the units are specially priced for individuals or families with lower incomes. The catalyst grant will be used toward new construction of the Woodward Willis building.

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