Archive for the ‘Important News’ Category

Proposed Michigan Avenue Streetscape Designs

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, the City of Dearborn and WDDDA held two public design review sessions of the proposed Michigan Avenue Streetscape Improvements. The project proposed would improve the walkability and livability of Downtown West Dearborn from the John D. Dingell Train Station (Elm Street) to Outer Drive, estimated at approximately a $5 million dollar investment. The proposed designs still need to be approved by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) since Michigan Avenue is their right-of-way (ROW), and we are still in the process of applying for a TAP Grant through the federal government to help fund this project. Therefore, we do not have a definitive timeline yet for the streetscape improvements.

In order to apply for the TAP Grant and receive approval from MDOT, we are in need of residents, businesses and property owners reviewing the designs and submitting a comment card to us regarding their opinion of the streetscape improvements planned. To submit your comment, please use the following link:

The following artboards illustrate the varying levels of design elements, concept sidewalk and street designs, traffic flow changes, and streetscape amenities. The first artboard indicates that there are three levels of walkability and environmental improvements via the color patterns of yellow, pink and blue. Yellow being the most walkable which is the core of the downtown; pink serving as a transitional area where walkability is still highly important, but improvements will be slightly less as it transitions out to a more auto-oriented area — which is the blue section or otherwise known as the gateways to the downtown area. The green section indicates the streetscape work area that surrounds Wagner Place, which will begin construction in March 2018. This includes the festival street area on West Village Drive. This work is being completed in conjunction with Wagner Place in order to have all hardscapes completed by July 2018 so that Ford employees can move in by that time.

This next artboard indicates the proposed medians and mid-block crossings, as well as some turning movement changes. Mid-block crossings and the medians will improve the pedestrian experience, calm traffic and provide areas of safe rest while crossing Michigan Avenue as a pedestrian. Left turn movements going eastbound on Michigan Avenue and north at Mason, Monroe and Oakwood would be removed, improving walkability and traffic flow.

The next few artboards showcase the changes to the sidewalks, landscaping, and amenities in the three different levels.

The artboards will be on display at the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce in their Visitor Center if you would like to see these in person. They will be on display for the next two weeks (thru Feb. 16).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us either at 313-943-3088 or via email


Traffic Changes in Downtown Dearborn

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Please be advised, a traffic shift on eastbound Michigan Avenue from Mason to Oakwood began Saturday, Oct. 28 and will last until mid-to-late December 2017.

The eastbound curb lane will be sectioned off to support the Wagner Place building construction on the south side of Michigan Avenue.

The two eastbound lanes will shift north one lane, taking over the center turn lane.

There will be no left turns from Michigan Avenue onto Oakwood, Monroe, and Mason when eastbound, and no left turns from Michigan Avenue onto Monroe and Mason when westbound.

Advise turning at Howard and Military to access parking.

The speed limit in the construction zone will be reduced to 25 mph.

Also, in the first half of November 2017, the northbound M-39 service drive near Rotunda Dr. will be closed for approximately one week for emergency bridge work on the M-39 bridge over the Rouge River.

Traffic headed to northbound M-39 will need to detour to Oakwood for a northbound entrance. Construction crews will also be closing the exit from northbound M-39 to US-12.

Thank you in advance for your patience while this construction is completed. We realize that this will be an inconvenience, but the development project will be a great addition to our downtown area.

For more information, visit the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) website at

Downtown Dearborn in the News

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

The September issue of Hour Media’s dbusiness shined a light on the city as a destination for arts and culture, tourism and – more significantly every day – business and new development along the Michigan Avenue corridor.  In the piece, editor R.J. King detailed the East and West Dearborn DDA’s work with the city, civic groups and others in bringing greater business (Wagner Place), retail (Fairlane Mall) and restaurant density, walkability and bikeability to its downtown. Check out the article by clicking the graphic.

Transform Michigan Ave: A Walkable Main Street

Thursday, September 7th, 2017


The vision and economic development plan for Downtown Dearborn includes the next evolution of Michigan Ave, fostering a hub of activity for residents, businesses and visitors. As we collectively work to transform Michigan Avenue into a walkable Main Street throughout Downtown Dearborn, we are actively seeking input and ideas from members of the community.

Whether you work, live or play in Downtown Dearborn, we welcome your feedback on initial streetscape design concepts for Michigan Avenue and our connector streets in Downtown West Dearborn.

There have been ongoing opportunities and community conversations for you to make your voice heard regarding how your Downtown Dearborn will look like. In case you missed your opportunity, below are links to a number of documents that illustrate the transformations intended, as well as a 3-D video.

Downtown West Dearborn Streetscape Combined Overview

3-D Video: Eastbound View of Michigan Avenue

3-D Video:  Westbound View of Michigan Avenue

If you have specific thoughts or questions, please contact email Cristina Sheppard-Decius, Downtown Dearborn Executive Director.

Adopt-a-Tree Well for Fall!

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Adopt-A-Tree-Well Fall Program

Let’s make Downtown Dearborn Beautiful this Fall!

Your business or organization can sponsor a tree well in Downtown East or West Dearborn to plant or decorate for Fall!
A tree well is the small patch of ground around the city trees lining our main streets.
You can easily participate in this community program by simply identifying which tree wells you would like to adopt and maintain within either Downtown District. You provide Fall plants or decorations, and we will recognize your efforts with a customized plaque, as well as in our promotion e-newsletter and on our social media.

Here’s how your business or organization can participate:

  1. Choose a tree well to sponsor.
    See numbered map for choices.
    Some have trees, some don’t (please leave trees intact).
  2. Download and fill out event sign up form_fall and winter 2017  and email or call 313-943-3141 for details. You can also fill this out online.
  3. Decorate with fall plants and / or decorations by Oct 1.
    • Choose Fall plants like mums, or decorations like pumpkins, haystacks, or family friendly Halloween decorations (subject to approval)
    • Each sponsor plants, decorates, and maintains their sponsored well.
  4. A sign will be provided to show who decorated each tree well.
  5. Remove decorations by Nov 30.

Program Benefits

  • Improved property aesthetics
  • More attention for your business
  • Recognition of your project on the DDAs website, blog posts Promotion through our social media channels
  • Custom signs featuring the name of your organization or business

Please check out the maps below for potential tree well locations. When reserving your space, please put down your preferred location number. We cannot guarantee a specific location until your receive a final confirmation from us.






EDDDA/WDDDA Welcome New BOD Members

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

DEARBORN, Mich. – (August 16, 2017) – The East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority (EDDDA) and West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority (WDDDA) have announced the mayoral appointment of the following individuals to their respective Board of Directors:


  • Devon Akmon, director of the Arab American National Museum


  • Mohammed Hider, owner of Famous Hamburger
  • Doug Van Noord, director of sales, leasing and development for Ford Land

Dearborn DDA board members serve a four-year term and oversee the operations of their respective DDA organizations, representing a variety of downtown interests. They are responsible for the development and implementation of projects and programs, as well as management of the DDAs’ annual budgets. Further, they will collaboratively work toward achieving the vision of a unified “Downtown Dearborn” concept, reinforcing Michigan Avenue as a Main Street, serving as a diverse, cohesive hub of activity for residents, businesses and visitors.


Devon Akmon, director of the Arab American National Museum

Devon Akmon

Akmon succeeded the Arab American National Museum (AANM) founding director Anan Ameri, Ph.D. as director in 2013, serving previously as the organization’s deputy director. He joined the AANM as a curator of community history in 2005. Under his leadership the AANM expanded its mission and programming, as well as its footprint with the addition of the Annex, a new community art space adjacent to the museum.

Akmon is a board member of the American Alliance of Museums, CultureSource, Artspace and The CivCity Initiative. He also serves on the advisory councils for Kresge Arts in Detroit, Smithsonian Affiliations and the Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies at North Carolina State University.

He earned his Master of Science in historic preservation from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti and is a graduate of the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Emerging Leaders Class IX and Leadership Detroit Class XXXIV. Akmon resides in Ann Arbor.


Mohammed Hider, owner of Famous Hamburger

Mohammed Hider

Embracing an entrepreneurial spirit since his youth, Hider is the owner and president of Famous Hamburger, founded by his grandfather Hussein Hider in Beirut, Lebanon in the 1970s. The restaurateur took on the role of management in Famous Hamburger’s East Dearborn location at the age of 18. At the age of 24, Hider launched the newest Famous Hamburger restaurant in Downtown West Dearborn in March of 2015. He had locations already established in East Dearborn and Canton Michigan. Hider has a vision to grow the Famous Hamburger brand by launching more franchisee locations across the metro Detroit area and possibly across the country.

Hider attended the University of Michigan, with a focus in general business, and is a member of the National Restaurant Association. Hider is also a large advocate of promoting positive community and economic growth within his neighborhood. He is a resident of Dearborn.


Doug Van Noord, director of sales, leasing and development for Ford Land

Doug Van Noord

As director of sales, leasing and development for Ford Land, Van Noord is responsible for the acquisition, development, leasing and disposition of Ford Land’s commercial properties in Southeast Michigan, with a primary focus on leasing several million square feet of commercial office space in Dearborn and Allen Park.

Van Noord is responsible for Ford Land’s new $60 million, 150,000-sq. ft. retail and office development Wagner Place in Downtown West Dearborn. The development will restore the façade of the 120-year old historic property and construct new buildings along two blocks.

With more than 30 years of experience in commercial real estate managing assets on behalf of landlords, investors and developers, Van Noord formerly worked at Reit Management and Research LLC, and Hallwood Commercial Real Estate. He began his career as a broker at Cushman and Wakefield. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and earned his finance degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Van Noord resides in Troy.



New Dearborn Bike Share Program Unveiled

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017


Donation by Beaumont, Kosch Family, Make Vision Reality for Dearborn Bike Share Program




DEARBORN, Mich. (June 13, 2017) — The City of Dearborn today launched a new bike-share program with Zagster, Inc. and Beaumont that will provide all Dearborn residents and visitors with a convenient, affordable and healthy way to get around town.

Starting today, 50 cruiser bikes will be available at 10 stations located throughout Downtown Dearborn for members to use for on-demand, local trips. The Dearborn Bike Share Program is part of Dearborn’s ongoing multi-modal city transformation. This evolution is a result of a collaboration with the city of Dearborn, Dearborn schools and Beaumont Health promote healthy eating and active living for all through the Healthy Dearborn program. The Zagster bike share inititiave is one of the first projects aimed at offering Dearborn residents and visitors more diversified mobility options for enhanced bicycle and pedestrian friendliness – all key to the city’s future growth and livability.

Bike rental stations will be located in both east and west downtowns at the Bryant Library, West Village Commons, John D. Dingell Transit Center, Arab American National Museum, City Hall Artspace Lofts, Commandant’s Quarters, behind Buffalo Wild Wings on Howard Street, and the intersections of Oakwood Boulevard and Michigan Avenue, Military Street and Michigan Avenue and Schlaff Street and Michigan Avenue. This is the first phase in a series of station installations planned for the City.

“Bike sharing is another great way for visitors to experience Dearborn, either for the first time or through another look. People have come to expect this opportunity in destination cities, and we consider Dearborn one of those,” said Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. “It complements other biking activities and our plans for many more miles of bike paths and lanes. It is definitely a fun part of our mobility initiatives and fits in with our commitment to sustainability, to promoting our downtowns and to attracting millennials.”

Added O’Reilly, “We’re grateful to Don and Mary Kosch, Beaumont and Healthy Dearborn for working with us to make bike sharing possible in our town this summer.”

The City of Dearborn – with partners The Kosch Family and Beaumont Health, who collaboratively donated $1.2 million, and the support of Healthy Dearborn and Downtown Dearborn – unveiled the program today at a kickoff ceremony at the John D. Dingell Transit Center. The event included a ceremonial ribbon-cutting with remarks from Dave Norwood, Sustainability Coordinator, Dearborn; Max Widmer and Michael Sheppard, Zagster, Inc.; Betty Priskorn, Vice President of Community Health and Outreach, Beaumont Health; Don & Mary Kosch, The Kosch Family; and Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. The event concluded with a 2-mile celebratory bike ride through Downtown West Dearborn.

“I have lived and worked in this community all my life, and I am delighted to give back by supporting Healthy Dearborn and the Bike Dearborn programs,” said Donald Kosch. “This is just one way to provide the resources needed to teach children and residents a healthier way of living. It feels good to give, but more importantly it does good. When you can do that, it’s a great combination.”

“We are so proud to be a partner in launching this transformative Healthy Dearborn initiative that will engage the community in health and well-being outside the walls of our eight hospitals,” said Betty Priskorn, vice president of community health, Beaumont Health. “As the founding philanthropic leader, the Kosch family’s generous gift will support a dedicated 6-mile bike path and bike share program that will create a powerful impact across the entire Dearborn community.”

The Healthy Dearborn collaboration is part of a community coalition of more than 200 residents and representatives from various sectors working together to improve health and quality of life in Dearborn.

Don and Mary Kosch and the Beaumont Foundation leadership recognizes that health and well-being are interconnected with social, cultural, physical, economic and other factors. The powerful impact of the collaboration of all partners provides the necessary support to improve quality of life and healthy lifestyles across the community.

Downtown Dearborn’s business leaders project the bike share program will also stimulate the local economy, providing visitors, employees and students alike with quicker, easier modes of access to the many destinations throughout Dearborn.


Participating in the Dearborn Bike Share Program

Dearborn Bike Share PromoRiding Dearborn Bike Share is easy. Bikes can be found via the free Zagster Mobile App — available for iPhone and Android — or online at

With just the single touch of a button in the app, riders can control a Bluetooth-enabled locking system that features two points of security. (Alternatively, riders can obtain unlock codes via text message to use with an on-bike keypad.) A ring lock prevents the rear wheel from spinning or being removed, and two sturdy cables — one at each station dock, and one on each bike — connect to the ring lock, allowing riders to either tether bikes to Zagster stations at the end of their trips or to public bike racks for mid-ride stops.

After the rider returns the bike to a designated Zagster bike station, the rental ends and the bike is available for the next person to enjoy.

Unlike other programs in which riders must drop off bikes at designated stations for every stop, Zagster’s programs give users the freedom to ride as long as they want, wherever they want. And because Zagster manages all aspects of its programs — from bikes and technology to maintenance and marketing — Zagster partners create and deploy scalable bike-share systems that best suit their communities.

Riders join the program by signing up for an annual membership online or participating as a non-member, hourly guest. An annual membership — for riders who must be 18 or older — is $20, however members who sign up early, using promo code bikedearborn, will receive a 50 percent discount. Members receive the first 2 hours of each ride free and a $2 fee for each hour afterward, up to $20.

Dearborn Bike Share features the Zagster 8, an award-winning bike known for its practical design, comfortable ride and easy handling. The bike includes a spacious basket that’s perfect for carrying groceries, takeout, or personal belongings. And because rider safety is a priority, every bike includes automatic lights, a bell and full reflectors.



About Zagster

Zagster is the leading provider of private and public-private bike-sharing systems in the United States, operating more than 160 programs in more than 30 states. Its efficient business model allows the company to successfully deploy in multiple markets, including cities, suburbs, universities, commercial campuses and residential properties. Zagster investors include Edison Partners, LaunchCapital; Fontinalis Partners; Clean Energy Venture Group; LaunchPad Venture Group; Otter Consulting and several leading Boston-area angel investors. Zagster’s goal: to make biking the most loved form of transportation.

More information about Zagster and its programs can be found at


About Beaumont Health

Beaumont Health is Michigan’s largest health care system, based on inpatient admissions and net patient revenue. A not-for-profit organization, it was formed in 2014 by Beaumont Health System, Botsford Health Care and Oakwood Healthcare to provide patients with the benefit of greater access to extraordinary, compassionate care, no matter where they live in Southeast Michigan. Beaumont Health has total net revenue of $4.4 billion and consists of eight hospitals with 3,429 beds, 174 outpatient sites, nearly 6,000 physicians and 36,000 employees and 3,500 volunteers.  In 2016, Beaumont Health had 177,508 inpatient discharges, 17,536 births and 567,658 emergency visits. For more information, visit

Construction Officially Begins on Wagner Place

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017
Ford celebrates groundbreaking of Wagner Place, a unique urban environment offering new retail and restaurant options as well as office space for 600 Ford employees

Ford celebrates groundbreaking of Wagner Place, a unique urban environment offering new retail and restaurant options as well as office space for 600 Ford employees.

The construction of Wagner Place officially began with a groundbreaking celebration on May 3, 2017. Scheduled to be complete in Summer 2018, Wagner Place will transform two blocks of vacant buildings into a unique mixed-use urban space with new retail and restaurant options, complemented by new green space, outdoor seating and enhanced walkability.

Governor Rick Snyder; Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr.; Ford Land Chairman and CEO Dave Dubensky; ‎Ford Land Director of Sales, Leasing and Development Doug Van Noord; State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud and many others were in attendance for the ceremonial groundbreaking.

Ford will invest $60 million into the renovated space, comprised of an 150,000-square-foot development, certified for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and resource-efficient with water and energy conservation features. The project received $3 million in support from the Michigan Strategic Fund and the City of Dearborn will construct a 373-spot parking structure at West Village Drive and Monroe Street. The development will welcome approximately 600 Ford global data insights and analytics employees. the City and WDDDA will be undertaking with making Michigan Avenue and connector street for a more walkable and bike-able destination.

The design will maintain a piece of Dearborn’s rich history with a restored façade of the 120-year-old former Wagner Hotel and its iconic turret.

The name Wagner Place honors the legacy of Anthony and Charles Wagner, a father and son, who built the Wagner Hotel in 1896. Historic photos show the Wagner name in brickwork on the building’s façade. The building has housed many businesses throughout the years, including Dearborn’s post office, and its unique turret has become a landmark in the community.

A prominent Dearborn family, the Wagners owned a brick yard on Monroe a few blocks south of Michigan Avenue. Ford Motor Company purchased the site from Wagner in 1913 and built the Ford Engineering Laboratory. The clay mines became spring-fed ponds, one of which remains today. Ford completed an extensive renovation of the FEL building in 2014 and moved nearly a thousand employees into the facility.


Downtown Dearborn in the News

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Get Insider Knowledge of What’s Happening in Downtown Dearborn with MetroMode.



Small Business Saturday November 28th

Thursday, November 12th, 2015


This year, the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority and West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority are partnering to help build awareness of shopping local.

We’re organizing a Small Business Saturday Passport and #ShopSmallSelfie Promotion in town and we want you to be apart of it. Shoppers are encouraged to pick up a Small Business Saturday Passport at participating locations and get their passport stamped at as many locations as possible starting on Small Business Saturday, November 28 through December 12. You can also download the passport here by following this link: Printable Passport. For every stamp received, customers are then entered to win prizes provided by participating businesses.

In addition to the passport, show your pride of shopping local with a #ShopSmall Selfie you take while shopping at stores in #Dearborn and #DearbornHeights and share it with us on social media. You can also post and check out the event on Facebook by following this link: your Passport here!

Downtown East Dearborn
Alanos Pizza & Subs
Alcamo’s Market
Blick Art Materials
Factory Finish Shoe Repair
Green Brain Comics*
JB Bamboozles Pub & Grille
Joe’s Top Dog Coney Island & Bar
Retro Image Antiques
Stormy Records

Downtown West Dearborn
Bailey’s Sports Grille
Brome Burgers & Shakes
Dearborn Brewing
Dearborn School of Music
Hair Designs North
Lue Thai Cafe
Nichols Ski and Snowboard
Nigosian Rug Company
Paint and Pour
Village Picture Frame & Art Gallery LLC*

Civic Center
Dearborn’s Ford Community & Performing Arts Center/Padzieski Art Gallery*
*passport drop-off locations