Jefferson-Chalmers Mainstreet Master Plan - Workshop Summary

The Master Planning Workshop 

East Jefferson Development Corporation (EJDevCo) and Jefferson East, Inc. (JEI) hosted a four-day strategic visioning workshop at Hope Community Church, August 27 through August 30, 2019.  The workshop, held in partnership with Houseal Lavigne Associates and InFORM Studio, was designed to capture the community vision for the Jefferson-Chalmers corridor.  Retail development along Jefferson Avenue between Lenox Street and Alter Road was the focus of the workshop.  Input received will inform the Building Jefferson-Chalmers Together Mainstreet Master Plan.

Topics covered include:

  • Priority Redevelopment Sites

  • Transportation and Mobility

  • Infrastructure and Utilities

  • Green Space

  • Corridor Character and Urban Design

  • Other key items including family events, historic preservation and meals for seniors

As shared by Derric Scott, CEO of EJDevCo, ”We still have a lot of work to do! The community did an amazing job of letting us know what they feel needs to be done in order to make their neighborhood an inclusive place with things that feel important to them. We've been hard at work understanding what we've heard and trying to translate that into actionable development and finding unique ways to finance all of this."

Next Steps

We will send out regular updates as we continue to make progress. We encourage you to stay involved!

Visit for the latest project updates and information on our monthly check-in meetings.

We also encourage you to download and try out the Map.Social tool and share what you would like to see and experience in the corridor.

"We look forward to coming back to community members to say, 'this is what we've heard, this is what we propose, and did we get it right?' We'll continue to rework that process over and over again to ensure there's accountability, transparency, and ultimately delivery on the things the community value most. We won't always get it right, but this is where we want the community to remain involved as we set up monthly check-ins that will allow us to provide updates and get consistent feedback from the community on the future of the commercial corridor." - Derric Scott 

Summary Report

Download the Building Jefferson-Chalmers Together Visioning Workshop Summary (PDF).

Thank you for your continued enthusiasm and participation! 

Sabrina Underwood
Neighborhood Beautification Day in Jefferson-Chalmers!

A day of beautification in Jefferson-Chalmers was held Saturday, September 27th in collaboration with our community partner Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan! Approximately 40 volunteers signed up to assist in the clean - up which resulted in the beautification of 3 vacant lots, including massive removal of debris and overgrown brush and the planting of a charming rain garden. For approximately 5 hours, individuals of all ages, including many Jefferson-Chalmers residents, worked in teams to clean up 3 vacant lots of overgrown brush and debris, and plant a rain garden.

Launched in support of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Neighborhood Enhancement Program grant received by JEI, this initiative not only allowed us to beautify the area, but enhance accessibility and safety. As shared by Michelle Lee, JEI’s Director of Housing and Neighborhood Services, “JEI believes strongly in being good stewards that go beyond brick & mortar. As such, keeping our communities clean, safe & beautiful remains a priority toward increasing sustainability within our service corridor.”

We thank our amazing group of volunteers for the hard work and dedication put into this effort! We would also like to thank MSDHA, Letty Azar, City of Detroit District 4 Manager, AmeriCorps Urban Safety, Hope House leadership and volunteers and the team at Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan for your assistance in making this a great and productive day!

Enjoy photos from this day in this Facebook Photo Essay! (Photo credit: James Morris)

Sabrina Underwood
Jefferson-Chalmers Mainstreet Master Plan - Community Workshop Review!

East Jefferson Avenue is one of the primary transit arteries connecting directly to Downtown Detroit and the central business district. East Jefferson Development Corporation (EJDevCo) have partnered with Houseal Lavigne Associates and inFORM Studio to develop a comprehensive and phased mainstreet master plan that will guide the development of the corridor and surrounding neighborhood. 

This  plan will direct investment in public infrastructure and utilities,  including streetscape, public spaces (including green space) and transportation and mobility improvements, corridor character and urban design. 

The Jefferson-Chalmers Mainstreet Master Plan is being responsibly informed by feedback from Jefferson-Chalmers residents and stakeholders. To kick it off, a week-long community engagement process ran August 27 - 30, 2019, at Hope Community Church. 

Approximately 100 neighborhood leaders, property owners, business representatives and city government personnel gathered for the initial community visioning workshop held on August 27th. This was an opportunity organized by EJDevCo and Jefferson East, Inc. (JEI) for the community to share their ideas for the future of the corridor. 

During the workshop, participants were able to exchange ideas and outline their vision for the types of infrastructure, services and businesses they would like to experience. The gathering was the result of many months of work by the EJDevCo team and their consultants. 

Participants were informed of project goals and map, history of the area, and framework plans for the corridor. They were then provided instructions and broken into small groups to discuss and map out what they envision for the corridor in the future. 

Ideas for improvements for businesses, residents and commuters were generated. A small sampling of the ideas shared include:

  • Repurposing abandoned properties

  • Incorporating speed bumps to slow motor-vehicle traffic and improving safety conditions on select streets

  • Restoring and revitalizing the Vanity Ballroom, making it an anchor for the community once more

  • Adding more bus stops

  • Repairing sidewalks

  • Improving lighting in public spaces

  • Pet park

  • 1 to 2 screen movie theater

  • Coffee house

  • High quality grocery store

  • Improving tree scape along Jefferson Ave

  • Adding kid-friendly outlets such as a recreation center and arcade

  • More green spaces

Utilizing this feedback, EJDevCo will develop the Jefferson-Chalmers Mainstreet Master Plan which will be presented at a public meeting soon to be announced.

Get Involved!

There are three easy ways to get others involved:

  1. Review the initial presentation and community input! We encourage you to share it with your neighbors, friends and family.  A copy of the final presentation will be available soon. 

  2. Download and try out the Map.Social tool. You can add what you would like to see and experience in the corridor to the map. We encourage you to share it with the youth in the neighborhood as well!

  3. Visit to get the latest project updates and learn about the monthly check-in meetings.

We will send out regular updates as the EJDevCo team, in partnership with JEI, continue to make progress. We encourage your continued involvement in the process.

Sabrina Underwood