The Detroit Lions and Hatch team up to invest in the Villages

Posted May 5, 2014

Hatch Detroit and the Detroit Lions have selected West Village as the next project site in the Hatch Detroit Neighborhood Initiative, focused on serving existing storefront retail in Detroit.

DETROIT— Hatch Detroit and the Detroit Lions have selected West Village as the next project site in the Hatch Detroit Neighborhood Initiative, focused on serving existing storefront retail in Detroit.
Through their philanthropic initiative Living for the City, the Detroit Lions are investing $150,000 in infrastructure improvements centered around improving the sense of safety and pedestrian friendliness on the Agnes Street retail strip. Working with the Villages Community Development Corporation, Hatch Detroit and the Detroit Lions have identified several critical elements in safety improvement and retail success.
"The Lions partnership with Hatch Detroit and investment in the West Village furthers our commitment to Detroit's resurgence and our focus on areas of critical need," said Rob Wooley, Lions Director of Community Relations. "Through this effort, the Lions will continue to make a stronger and more lasting impact on one of Detroit's historic neighborhoods."

The Hatch Detroit Neighborhood Initiative is an extension of the Detroit Lions’ philanthropic initiative, Living for the City, which supports organizations pursuing integrated approaches to physical fitness, healthy eating, housing, land use and environmental planning, public transportation, community infrastructure, and aligned workforce opportunities.
Project work will include a facade improvement of the corner storefront on Agnes and Van Dyke that incorporates new windows, additional lighting, and an improved entrance to the facility. The investment on the exterior corner will leverage further investment as the Villages CDC plans to move their office there and offer programs to market the neighborhood with new business opportunities. “We hope to add pop-up and small business incubation to the activity already generated to further market the neighborhood. With the influx of safety and pedestrian friendliness being offered by Hatch Detroit and the Detroit Lions, we know the neighborhood will be a destination for a resident or visitor.” says Brian Hurttienne, Executive Director of the Villages CDC.
New lighting will be installed in the parking lot behind the strip of businesses, and the gas lighting along the Agnes strip will be repaired improving both business security and the pedestrian experience.
In an effort to improve the sense of walkability in West Village, pedestrian-scale signage will be created and installed for Craftwork bar and restaurant, Red Hook coffee shop, Tarot & Tea, and Detroit Vegan Soul – one of the Hatch Detroit Contest Alums. Four bike racks, designed by the Nordin brothers and inspired by the Belle Isle Bridge will be installed outside the four businesses. All facets of the project will be completed by September 2014.
West Village is one of six targeted neighborhoods as the areas of focus in the Living for the City initiative. The others include the North End, Corktown, Southwest Detroit, Grandmont Rosedale and the Avenue of Fashion. Hatch Detroit and the Detroit Lions recently completed Phase I of the project on the Avenue of Fashion, including a district-wide clean-up and beautification project and the installation of pedestrian-scale signage for five businesses located around Livernois and Outer Drive. “We see the redevelopment of these commercial strips as critical to the revitalization of the entire region,” says Vittoria Katanski, Executive Director of Hatch Detroit. “Our work aims to assist entrepreneurs who are already contributing to their communities and their neighborhoods’ growth.”
For more information, contact:
Vittoria Katanski, Hatch Detroit Executive Director: or 248-766-6485.
Ben Manges, The Detroit Lions Director of Corporate Communications: or 313-216-4190.
Brian Hurttienne, Villages CDC Executive Director: or 313-486-2900.

About Hatch Detroit
Hatch Detroit is the only charitable organization in Detroit dedicated exclusively to championing and supporting independent storefront retail in the city. Through funding, exposure, and mentoring, Hatch supports both existing and new retail initiatives in the cities of Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck. Though their work on revitalizing the retail landscape and increasing walkability, Hatch Detroit aims to improve the quality of life for Detroit residents. For more information, click here.
About the Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and play their home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit. The team located to Detroit in 1934 and is the National Football League's fifth oldest franchise. The Detroit Lions most recently made the NFL playoffs in 2011, when they finished with a 10-6 record. In addition to professional football, the Detroit Lions have a very visible and active community relations role in the Detroit area. With a focus on health and wellness and community revitalization, the Lions have contributed $7.2 million through philanthropic efforts since 1991. For more information, click here.
About the Villages CDC
The Villages Community Development Corporation (CDC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to accelerating economic development in the Villages of Detroit, a collection of neighborhoods located on Detroit’s near eastside, the boundaries of which are Mt. Elliott to Cadillac, and the Detroit River to Mack. Through business attraction, community advocacy and organizing, and urban design and planning, the Villages CDC seeks to strengthen and preserve the social and economic fabric of one of the most diverse and longstanding communities in Detroit. For more information, click here.