Midtown Detroit Anchor Strategy

U³ Advisory was engaged by a consortium of foundations in Detroit including The Kresge Foundation and Hudson-Webber Foundation to create a strategy for Midtown that leverages the major anchor institutions – Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Health System – to revitalize their shared district that is rich with institutional uses but lacking in vitality.

Over a period of three years, U³ Advisory worked with the Anchors to create and implement institutional programs, advance a midtown community development organization, facilitate a physical development plan for the Woodward-Cass Corridor, and put in place strategic initiatives that forward the development of Midtown.

Services provided:

  • Created a set of institutional programs to revitalize Midtown Detroit by capturing anchor generated “demand” within the district.  These programs were designed to attract new residents and increase university and hospital support for local employment and local businesses.
  • Analyzed local real estate and market demand created by the institutions and translated this demand to determine viable real estate projects on specific parcels.
  • Served as a liaison among local universities and hospitals, neighborhood groups, and CDC’s to create a vision for Midtown Detroit that has attracted significant local and national philanthropic investment.
  • Established a physical development plan that integrates the anchor institutions along the Woodward Corridor in Midtown through parcel based projects and district-wide improvements.
  • Worked with the three anchors to create policies and procedures that are “institutionalized” over time to continue their support for the anchor-based economic development initiatives.
  • Envisioned and built support for the Midtown Detroit Co-Lab, a storefront office for Midtown Detroit Inc., a collaborative work environment for partners advancing the Woodward Corridor, a community space and gallery, and a retail coffee shop/wine-bar.