Dearborn Heights’ Community and Economic Development Department chose McKenna to prepare the Military Park Neighborhood Action Plan. The neighborhood plan, which was Community Development Block Grant-funded, was needed to qualify the Military Park for the special “slum / blight” designation under CDBG rules.
The neighborhood had been the site of reduced private commercial investment, falling property values, increased blight and residential vacancy, and increased turnover of former owner-occupied homes to rental properties. Together, those trends were of concern to the City, which realized that special attention and analysis was the first step toward reversing decline.
The McKenna-prepared Neighborhood Action Plan provided a strategy to efficiently guide resources for physical improvement projects (such as the installation of street lights and signage) deemed best able to protect the health, safety and welfare of neighborhood residents. The plan included an implementation matrix detailing: 1) Neighborhood Improvement Projects, 2) Funding Sources, 3) Priority and Schedule, and 4) Responsible Party or Agency.
As a result of the plan, Dearborn Heights leaders gained a clear understanding of the steps to take to elevate investment and civic pride in the Military Park neighborhood.