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. 

Over 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