REVOLVE Livernois

Detroit Economic Growth Association (DEGA) REVOLVE Program

Funding Received: 2013
Detroit, MI
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
September 2, 2014

By Lori E. Allan

Momentum Continues on the Ave
It has been nearly a year since we launched 31 projects across two blocks on Detroit’s historic “Avenue of Fashion.” The momentum is still going and local residents, as well as surrounding neighborhoods, are excited for the continued progress.

Since the launch, two pop-up businesses, Detroit Fiber Works and Love Travels Imports, signed permanent leases and launched websites. Love Travels Imports is opening a second pop-up store in the Grandmont Rosedale community this fall. Hunter’s Supper Club and Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles, two of the larger-scale redevelopment projects in the community, are actively under construction. Michael Owen, a REVOLVE muralist from Baltimore, returned to do a lecture at Marygrove College and collaborated with students on an art project. Good Cakes and Bakes continues to appear positively in the press and host weekly programming events.

Beyond the private sector, Detroit Collaborative Design Center, REVOLVE’s project partner, has played a key role in sustaining events programming and creative placemaking activities to support the business district. They received a second round of funding from the Surdna Foundation to reactivate the Livernois Community Storefront to host a “Third Thursday” event series that highlights businesses, culture, and the arts on Livernois.

REVOLVE’s Evolution
The REVOLVE Team, Michael Forsyth and Lori E. Allan, were awarded Entrepreneurs of the Year by Crain’s Detroit Business in the “Intrapreneur” category. Michael Forsyth is leading development and execution of Mayor Mike Duggan’s Neighborhood Small Business and Commercial Corridor Strategy. Livernois is identified as a primary target area. Since the project’s completion, REVOLVE has secured additional funding from 5 sources totaling $235,000 and has presented the program model and lessons learned at several national conferences:
• American Planning Association National Conference
• National Main Street Conference
• International Downtown Association Conference – Midwest Chapter

Recent Press
Crain's Detroit
• New York Times