Planning & Economic Development


Proposed Midtown Zoning Change

Working with the City of Detroit City Planning Commission and Planning & Development Department, MDI is now focused upon a zoning strategy for the area generally bounded by Woodward Avenue, Hancock, Third Avenue and Peterboro in order to better support a vibrant urban district which allows a mix of uses within a walkable geographic area.  To do this, a rezoning of this land is required.  The proposed zoning change would impact most of the land within this area currently zoned R5 Medium Density Residential, changing to SD1 Special Development District - Small Scale, Mixed-Use, and most of the land currently zoned B4 General Business to SD2 Special Development District - Commercial/Residential.  

More information on the proposed rezoning can be found HERE


Pedestrian Overlay District

MDI worked with the City of Detroit Planning & Development Department (P&DD) and City Planning Commission (CPC) staff on this initiative which provides development and design standards and guidelines for Woodward. On April 21, 2005, the CPC voted to recommend adoption of this newly approved Detroit Zoning Ordinance.

Download PDF Now (7.71MB) - Pedestrian Overlay District Design Standards


Woodward Corridor Development Fund

Designed and developed by Midtown Detroit, Inc., the fund provides predevelopment dollars for housing projects within the Woodward Corridor.  To date, over $1.7 million in funding has been raised by MDI and partner Invest Detroit in support of this program.  Over 700 units of new housing have been funded in Midtown.


Facade Improvement Matching Grant Program

The Façade Improvement Program provides matching funds to commercial property owners and businesses to upgrade their Woodward Avenue storefronts.  The Hudson-Webber Foundation, Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), and the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan contributed $750,000 in funding.  The Façade program, administered by MDI, creates a more attractive and inviting appearance to the Woodward area.

NOTE: The Facade Improvement Program is currently closed.  


Small Business Assistance Program

MDI provides assistance in the area of marketing, financing, grant writing, site location, and project facilitation for individuals or businesses looking to invest in the area.  MDI also supports and provides assistance to many city agencies, developers, property owners, nonprofit agencies, realtors, and businesses involved in projects within the neighborhood.  In 2010, MDI provided support to over 100 developers, businesses, and organizations in the Midtown neighborhood.  The program is funded by DTE Energy Foundation.


Security Improvement Program

In 2008, Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI) assembled a stakeholder group including professional security officers, residents, area businesses, and institutions to develop strategies to reduce criminal activity in the greater Midtown area.  Regular security meetings convened to discuss trends and to share valuable security information.  The resulting system of information sharing resulted in integrating contractual private security services, lighting improvements, and “club” programs for students and employees into the Midtown district security plan.

MDI initiated a Security Improvement Matching Grant Program for area businesses and property owners to enhance security and increase resident, worker, and visitor safety. The program providee a matching grant when owners add and/or upgrade security and surveillance mechanisms on their property.  MDI also received support for the Wayne State University Police Department to purchase equipment and hire additional personnel for a Mobile Video Surveillance system in the Midtown neighborhood.

NOTE: The Security Matching Grant Program is currently closed.