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National Resource Network (NRN) Study

The purpose of the National Resource Network (NRN) study in 2016 was to assist the City of Dearborn activate West Downtown into a vibrant regional destination by:

  • Strengthening the urban framework through enhanced walkability and connectivity to surrounding anchors and activity centers
  • Leveraging City owned property to attract new development to the West Downtown area, with a focus on increasing residential density to drive retail demand.


A case study of peer communities was conducted, market assessment of potential development opportunities, an urban design framework was established and a key site analysis with strategies for redeveloping were provided in the report. 


Some of the recommendations coming out of this study included:

  • Begin to activate the underutilized municipal surface parking assets by demonstratingthe viability of the market through a pilot multifamily development on Site 4
  • Release a request for proposals for Site 1 to explore the market potential for this vacant parcel
  • Work with Dearborn’s institutions to explore implementation of a joint shuttle
  • Improve wayfinding and signage to better brand the West Downtown area
  • Implement a form based code as well as policies and zoning that prioritize mixed use in West Downtown
  • Implement pedestrian and traffic calming measures like bumpouts and bike lanes when repaving streets
  • Examine potential redesign of the tax structure to reduce the burden on new construction and improve the feasibility of new development


Click here for a full review of the study.

View Study


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