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313City

7/Gratiot Commercial District

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Hello all, I'm new to the site :) . Now I was thinking. The 7 Mile and Gratiot area 30 years ago was the place for shopping in the city when you weren't able to make a trek downtown. However, there has been development still occuring over there. Why is that? Three are no major stores in a hurry to occupy the store spaces, the beautifal Krogers buildings is occupied by a second hand grocre, and Walgreens is pleged to close within the next 3 weeks. Presonally, I think it's a lost in development. However, my question is, why is land semi-valuable over there to those particular contractor when all that's being built over there in reality is just more asphalt with a building with windows?

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Welcome, 313!

I don't know, but my hypothesis would be that it's because the built environment out there and the sophistication of the infrastructure is less than what it is the further into the city down Gratiot you go. Ever notice on ANY one of the spoke roads that any of the new construction (ok most of the new construction) is a strip mall? Why is that? Well, because Detroit is a thoroughfare city. Back in the day, the thoroughfares were served by mass transit, so the corridors are traditionally dense and walkable.

Now, that that era is gone and the automobile is the primary mode of transport, coupled with "undesirable" demographics by American standards, there's only enough will to build whatever is necessary with minimal costs associated with it. Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part, you will witness the demolition of up-to-the-street buildings and the construction in their place of set-backed buildings fronted by ugly surface parking lots.

It really breaks the flow of urban design. You can see this in the old, gritty, either abandoned storefronts that make up the majority of the corridor, but then have a massive chunk of suburbs meshed into the traditional flow. It doesn't work, but since there is a bit less of that (traditional streetscape) closer to the suburbs, the easier it is to adopt or transform to the new, car-oriented suburban mess.

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Welcome, 313!

I don't know, but my hypothesis would be that it's because the built environment out there and the sophistication of the infrastructure is less than what it is the further into the city down Gratiot you go. Ever notice on ANY one of the spoke roads that any of the new construction (ok most of the new construction) is a strip mall? Why is that? Well, because Detroit is a thoroughfare city. Back in the day, the thoroughfares were served by mass transit, so the corridors are traditionally dense and walkable.

Now, that that era is gone and the automobile is the primary mode of transport, coupled with "undesirable" demographics by American standards, there's only enough will to build whatever is necessary with minimal costs associated with it. Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part, you will witness the demolition of up-to-the-street buildings and the construction in their place of set-backed buildings fronted by ugly surface parking lots.

It really breaks the flow of urban design. You can see this in the old, gritty, either abandoned storefronts that make up the majority of the corridor, but then have a massive chunk of suburbs meshed into the traditional flow. It doesn't work, but since there is a bit less of that (traditional streetscape) closer to the suburbs, the easier it is to adopt or transform to the new, car-oriented suburban mess.

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