Mack improvement plan gets state grant

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 30, 2021

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — Mack Avenue is getting some help from Lansing.

State Rep. Joe Tate, D-Detroit, told the Grosse Pointe City Council during a meeting Oct. 18 that the Grosse Pointes and Detroit are getting a $200,000 grant from the state to help with streetscape improvements to Mack Avenue.

Tate said he was “really excited” to be able to share the news.

“Thank you,” Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak told Tate. “That should really help us.”

She said this $200,000 grant marked the first contribution toward what will be a $2 million project to beautify and unify the streetscape. Organizers hope this will help existing businesses and attract new ones.

“Multijurisdictional projects have value … for the region,” Tomkowiak said.

The City is one of the communities involved in the Mack Avenue Corridor Improvement Plan — a joint project among the City, Grosse Pointe Farms and Detroit covering the stretch of Mack from Cadieux to Moross roads.

City Manager Pete Dame said it was “solely through the efforts of Rep. Joe Tate” that the communities would be able to tackle the first stage of improvements on Mack.

“It’s a very important initiative we’ve been working on for several years,” Dame said.

Dame said the state money would also be used toward another round of public engagement efforts as they work together to come up with designs for the streetscape and start to phase those in.

“We’re very grateful,” Dame said.

Earlier this year, the City approved changes to zoning on Mack to make the City’s zoning more uniform and encourage more mixed-use development and investment. The change will also improve walkability.

Officials believe the improvement plan will benefit all the communities.

“Mack Avenue is a hodgepodge of zoning and design standards throughout the corridor,” Grosse Pointe Farms City Manager Shane Reeside said after a Mack Avenue Corridor Improvement Plan kickoff meeting in 2019. “This is a real opportunity to create a cohesiveness. Beyond potential aesthetic and functional improvement to the area, this project has already opened up dialogue with our neighbors in the city of Detroit.  I have been extremely impressed with the vision of the representatives from the city of Detroit and the Eastside Community Network. We all have the same objective of building a better community.”

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