Southfield (CW50) – The neighborhood of Corktown has gone through many changes over its decades of history, with no change as significant as the revitalization the neighborhood has seen over the last several years. Newer homes, new businesses, and the development of several projects has led Corktown to becoming one of Detroit’s most trendy and popular neighborhoods.

The latest in the revitalization effort of Corktown is Ford’s renovation of Michigan Central Station and plans to further develop the surrounding area into a mobility innovation hub for startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs.

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The effects of the development have been felt in the residential blocks of Corktown, leading to many expressing their concerns about what the future of longtime, and even newer, Corktown residents is within the neighborhood.

Community Connect Host Jackie Paige, with Sheila Cockrel, Chair of Ford Michigan Central Development Neighborhood Advisory Council

Sheila Cockrel, Chair of Ford Michigan Central Development Neighborhood Advisory Council and longtime Corktown resident, joins Jackie Paige on Community Connect to discuss the engagement taking place between Ford and residents of Corktown in order to ensure that the wants and needs, in regards to development, are being met.

“The catalytic role that the Ford project plays has to be understood as an effort to bring together the needs and perspectives of both long-term residents and folks who have joined out community over the years.”

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Some of the impacts that residential areas are experiencing include increased rental rates and property values. The Neighborhood Advisory Council has been negotiating with Ford, and the City of Detroit has made a commitment that affordable housing remains in Corktown as to not push out long-term, low-income residents.

“It’s very important that this community is always one that is diverse and completely welcoming to people from those who are homeless to the folks that live in penthouses.”

Cockrel expressed that she has assured long-term and older residents that they cannot be pushed out and will not be pushed out of their homes. However, she did show concern for the fact that younger residents who either rent homes or apartments have experienced being pushed out as rental prices soar.

Ford’s engagement with the community and their representatives has been seen as a positive step toward the future, although there are still many residents who are concerned that gentrification is taking place.

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