UDM and community leaders partner to focus on Livernois and McNichols area

Monday, Aug. 31, was more than just the first day of classes for the fall semester at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Outside of the Loranger Architecture Building and in front of the campus fence, UDM President Antoine Garibaldi was joined by other community leaders to announce a new community organization.

Dubbed Live6 Alliance, which is a nod to UDM’s location, the association aims to strengthen Livernois the Avenue (Live) and McNichols Road (also known as 6 Mile) commercial corridors in Northwest Detroit.

UDM, The Krege Foundation and the Detroit Corridor Initiative will fund Live6 Alliance with a $700,000 budget over two years.

“This Live6 Alliance will serve as a vehicle to discuss and implement four key goals of our organization: placemaking, neighborhood stabilization, business attraction and retention and safety and security,” said Garibaldi.

The announcement came almost a year after the groundbreaking ceremony for the Livernois Streetscape project, which has seen improvements to the medians, sidewalks and landscaping on Livernois from the Lodge Freeway to 8 Mile Road. Garibaldi noted that the project is nearly finished.

Initially, Live6 will focus on the Livernois and McNichols corridors encompassing Puritan Avenue to the south, Curtis Street to the north, Fairfield Street to the east and Wyoming Avenue to the west.

Live6 is also in talks with the new leadership at Marygrove College regarding its future involvement.

“Our involvement in Live6 Alliance is consistent with Father McNichols’ and also the Jesuits’ decision to not only build a campus here in 1922 but to remain here for the last 93 years,” said Garibaldi.

Live6 Alliance will also receive support from The Kresge Foundation, the Detroit Corridor Initiative, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, area neighborhood associations and other anchor institutions.

There has been much spotlight and work done in Detroit’s downtown and Midtown areas. However, other areas, including those surrounding the UDM campus, are vital to the city’s comeback story, too.

“Organizations like Live6, whose genesis we are announcing with such high hopes today, are, and increasingly will be, essential in moving Detroit forward,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation.

The area of 6 Mile and Livernois is unique in a city that is over 142 square miles in size, community leaders were quick to point out.

“There’s no other place in Detroit that has the quality and diversity of neighborhoods that surround this area,” said Michael Forsyth, business development manager at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “Two universities. A thriving business district with many amazing businesses to build from. You find it in new places when you go to look for it.”

Gaston Nash, who lives in the Fitzgerald neighborhood across the street from campus, added, “This is the best neighborhood in Detroit already. Hands down.”