Grand River @ 14th - Designing Justice + Designing Spaces
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Grand River @ 14th

About

The Grand River @ 14th social justice hub is a development that supports our mission to end mass incarceration by building spaces that foster economic growth and agency.

After five years of engaging Detroit neighborhood stakeholders and justice-based organizations — including for the adaptive reuse of the neighboring LOVE Building — Designing Justice + Designing Spaces purchased the Grand River @ 14th lots as an opportunity to meet local infrastructure needs discovered in the engagement process. For updates on the Grand River @ 14th project, sign up for our Detroit newsletter.

Project Details

Project Type: Restorative Reinvestment

Location: Detroit, Michigan

Designer on Deck: Anthony Boyd/HERO Consulting and Coaching

Community Activators Board: Tiffany Brown/Developing Despite Distance, Teddy Dorsette III/TeddyBoy Films & Entertainment, Kyle Bartell/Sit-On-It Detroit, Detra Iverson/Love N’ Labor Botanical Farms, Darnell Robertson/AMK Enterprises, Laura Amtower/Downtown Boxing Gym

Status: Pre-development phase

Building spaces to end mass incarceration 

Grand River @ 14th is planned as a social justice campus for community, small locally-owned businesses, and nonprofit organizations. The campus will center around three main infrastructure themes: restorative justice spaces, food and retail ecosystem, and digital media and fabrication.

The buildings and spaces are intended to be a national model for what to build instead of prisons, and contribute to the vision of Detroit becoming the country’s first restorative justice city. If this is a place that your business or organization would like to be part of, please email detroit@designingjustice.org.

Community leading equitable development 

Designing Justice + Designing Spaces wants to create a replicable development process that includes community members at the start and centers the lived experience of those who have been impacted by the carceral system. Grand River @ 14th can become an anchor where businesses – instead of shuffling around and constantly needing to find new space – can not only have a home, but a future stake in equity.

As part of our development process, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces has engaged local Detroit leaders for a Community Activators Board, to help steward the infrastructure needed to support people who are formerly incarcerated.

Incremental growth with “pop-up to permanent”  

As we ignite radical imagination to envision the future of the Grand River @ 14th campus, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces is testing ideas with the local community, to create pop-up activations that can inform the permanent infrastructure. To date, the Community Activators Board has ideated and built on the corner of 14th St. and W. Forest Ave. a L.O.V.E. letter installation and a community picnic table, with more pop-up activations planned for fall 2023.

Our goal is to scaffold the process of supporting local businesses as we continue with community engagement. tenant cultivation, space programming, and financial modeling.

Radical reimagining of community spaces

``We are building a world that works for everyone, especially those who have been harmed by incarceration systems.``
Brandi Mack, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces Director of Community Engagement

Grand River @ 14th Community Engagement Sessions

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