SW Detroit business group raises millions to fix streetlights - FOX 32 News Chicago

Southwest Detroit business group raises millions to fix streetlights

Posted: Updated:
Streetlight  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Streetlight (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Jamahl Makled owns the Boost Mobile store on Vernor Highway in southwest Detroit.  He and other business owners have done a lot to make the shopping district there more inviting.  The owners shell out additional money to make sure the trash is picked up, graffiti is wiped out and employ off-duty police officers.  However, the broken streetlights make growing a business tough.

"People just don't feel safe, especially with hard economic times and crime being up as it is," said Makled.

"There's sometimes a mile or more of lighting out on one side of the street or both sides of the street," said Theresa Zajac with the Southwest Detroit Business Association.

So the association decided to raise the money on its own.  MDOT provided $3.3 million, and the City of Detroit and SEMCOG kicked in a $1 million a piece.  After two years of active fundraising, thanks to public dollars and foundations, the association has raised $6.4 million to fund the 2.3 mile project.

"New light poles, LED lights, we're going to replace the underground wiring," Zajac said.

The association is still $400,000 short, but their goal is to get a stretch of Vernor Highway lit by November of 2014.

"I think it's just a matter of everybody in the neighborhood, business owners and leaders in the community, pulling together to try and make something happen instead of waiting around for somebody else to do something," Makled said.

The association has until June to raise that money.  They're asking private foundations and some of the business owners along Vernor Highway to see if they will help them reach that goal.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:08:38 GMT
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap.
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap. Authorities also say they are now looking for a small motorcycle in addition to the gray, dented van seen in the area.
  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:05 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:05:54 GMT
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices