Term Project

Tanvi Parikh & Wei Jin


Background Information
Interactive Neighborhood maps
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The mission of this project is to make an interactive map for the Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA) area.




Background Information

The City of Detroit was founded in 1701 and incorporated as a city in 1815. The city consists of 139 square miles, located on the Detroit River north of Windsor, Canada in southeastern Michigan. The 1990 official Census population is 1,027,974 while the 1992 population is estimated at 1,013,974.

The Greater Detroit area consists of eight counties: Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. Together, the population of these eight counties is roughly 4.7 million people, making Greater Detroit the sixth largest metropolitan area in the U.S. Wayne County is the most populated of the eight counties with a 1992 estimated population of 2,102,413. The City of Detroit is located in Wayne County. Oakland County is the second most populated county in the Greater Detroit area. The 1992 estimated population for Oakland County is 1,111,894. There are over 250 separate and distinct municipalities in the Greater Detroit area. These cities, townships and villages range in size from tiny Emmett in rural St. Clair County (population: 306) to giant Detroit, the ninth largest city in the U.S. Because of this diversity, the Greater Detroit area offers someting for everyone. Residents can choose between rural farming communities, quiet suburban neighborhoods, exclusive and chic urban areas, or the excitement of the big city of Detroit. And, all of these living options are located within an easy commute of the region's major employment centers.


Besides automobile manufacturing, the Detroit area's primary industries include machine tool accessories, internal combustion engines, iron and steel forging, plumbing fittings, metal cutting tools and distilled liquor. Detroit leads the nation or ranks among the top three manufacturing centers in these industires. It is also the potato chip capital of the world.


In support of its role as the "Automobile Capital of the World," Greater Detroit is also a leader in research and development activities. Twenty-seven percent of the area's labor force is employed in the service sector, six percent in finance, insurance and real estate, and 23 percent in the wholesale and retail trades.


Detroit is served by four daily newspapers, eight television stations and 59 radio stations. Six freeways not only provide easy access to the entire region, but also link the Greater Detroit area with the rest of the Midwest. Two airports, one in the city and one 19 miles from downtown, and 26 airlines handle an average of 1,300 [ed.: ?] passengers a day. Detroit Metropolitan International Airport is a hub for Northwest Airlines, with over 425,000 arrivals and departures each year.


There are nine universities, seven colleges, ten community college campuses and dozens of trade and vocational school located in the Greater Detroit area. The area is served by 64 hospitals and over 11,000 physicians. State-of-the-art health care is available at either of the area's two teaching and research centers: Detroit Medical Center and The University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. Recreational opportunities are limitless in the Greater Detroit area. There are 18 malls and shopping districts, each with over 100 stores and shops. Fairlane Mall in Dearborn has over 200 stores. Five professional sports teams and 3 NCAA Division 1 college teams play in Detroit's numerous arenas and stadiums.



What is SDBA?

SDBA is an organization that's been playing a role in South West Detroit community since 1957. It started as a very traditional business association that was looking for an alternative to the high cost of display ads in the News, Times and Free Press.
This association has over the years evolved into a community development corporation, which is about improving the quality of life in this community by addressing the local economy and the role that small businesses play in seeing that economy be healthy by hiring people from the community, by providing goods and services that the people need and by investing in the real estate and investing in the businesses.

What is the Area under SDBA? (click here)

It includes a 3.5-square-mile neighborhood bordered by Michigan Avenue, 12th-Rosa Parks Boulevard, the Detroit River and the city line. Lying in the shadows of the Ambassador Bridge, it is the city's most densely populated neighborhood, with almost 100,000 people. It consists of a large Mexican population and other ethnic groups. It has a wide variety of businesses from small mom-and-pop taquerias to multinational companies. Moreover, it has lots of wonderful food and small markets. The area began to be developed before the Civil War as Detroit pushed west along the Detroit River past Cork town. It recorded its fastest growth around the turn of the century as immigrants settled in near the foundries and metalworking factories where they worked. Most homes in the area were built before World War II.

Vision for this region.

It is envisioned as a place with a significant demand for housing based on the kinds of industrial redevelopments that are happening here. It started as a neighborhood where people came to live because there were jobs here and people walked to their jobs. It is developing both new businesses opening up and a great deal of demand for labor from this neighborhood.


What has SDBA done in the past in this area?


SDBA has done the renovation of the building (at 7752 Vernor), which was a $1.3-million project. SDBA moved upstairs and renovated the downstairs. The building is 100 percent leased now and they get $9 to $13 per square foot. In Mexican town, at Vernor and Clark, they worked with Lena and Omar Hernandez to renovate a building they owned and then put a new bakery in it. And now they have got a booming business. So they went from an empty building that was really blight on the neighborhood to a very attractive, contributing building.


Click for link to SDBA

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