Businesses growing in east Dearborn

By DANIEL HERATY
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — East Dearborn is seeing businesses coming in.

The growth of the area, part of an ongoing effort by the East Downtown Dearborn Development Authority, has started to come slowly, Executive Director Michael Bewick said, but the overall goal is being met.

“People are coming back to Dearborn,” he said.

The development has been a welcome change to the city, said Barry Mur-ray, Economic and Community Development director for the city. There was a time, he said, when the east Dearborn district was a shopping center for the area.

“Prior to Montgomery Ward’s closing, this was a very active shopping center,” he said.

The majority of the influx of businesses will be based on the arts, Bewick said.

There is an ongoing effort to reenergize Dearborn by having artists move into the area.

Partnering with the EDDDA is a non-profit organization called Artspace, which is conducting a survey that will determine the needs of atrists should they want to move to Dearborn.

According to the Website www.artspacedearborn.org, “This study will assist in the development of affordable new space where artists of all disciplines may live, work and pursue their art.”

The survey, which began in November, expired Tuesday.

Murray said that the problem for artists trying to move in is that they buy or lease a place to live for a lower price. Once businesses begin to come into the area, the lease prices then go up, at which point the artists are priced out.

Artspace will help eliminate this problem.

“They maintain pricing as a project,” Murray said. “They have been pretty successful all over the country.”

Events that have attracted people in the past will see continued involvement.

Jazz on the Ave, a free summer concert series begun in 2008, will resume this year with concerts in City Hall Park, 13615 Michigan Ave. As many as 400 people turned out for each concert last year, Murray said.

And that means more business for nearby establishments.

“It’s strating to get a response from the restaurants,” Murray said.

Also this year, Green Brain Comics, 13210 Michigan Ave., will participate in Free Comic Book Day May 7. The event, which is international and includes publishers and distributors from all over the world, is in its 10th year.

Green Brain Comics co-owner Daniel Merritt said that the event has grown every year.

“Last year we had over 1,000 people,” he said. “It’s a great way to get people into the district.”

(Contact Daniel Heraty at dheraty@bewick-publications.com.)

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