The Eight Mile Boulevard Association has been busy this summer, with two facade projects wrapping up, among its other activities.
Eighty employees from Mercedes-Benz Financial (formerly Daimler Financial) recently worked on a day care center on Eight Mile Road in Warren. The association’s executive director, Tami Salisbury, says the company had helped with renovation and landscaping projects in the past, but approached her about doing a facade project this time.
“We salivate at that,” she jokes. Since there’s a wish list of businesses who need facade renovations but can’t afford them right now, the group was paired with the Warren day care. Among improvements were replacing a fence, installing awnings and signs, and hanging new lights. “It was a pretty huge transformation,” she says.
At USA Paper and Ribbon, in Southfield, volunteers also worked on landscaping, a new sign, new awnings, and painting among other projects. Both businesses have already seen new customers, or current customers noticing the work. “That’s really exciting, to see how facade renovation can increase your business,” Salisbury says.
The association has improved 22 facades in the three years the facade program has been in place. An association “corridor keeper” patrols
Eight Mile to collect illegal signs and warn property owners of
impending code violations. “It makes a big difference,” Salisbury says. “Business owners care for their property more. Just like blight can spread, so can beautification.”
The group is wrapping up some current projects before awarding the next round of grants in July. It’s recently hosted an annual golf outing and a boulevard clean-up with high school students. It has also just formed a 501(c)2, which would allow it to start acquiring land.
“We think Eight Mile Road is a very worthwhile corridor to invest in,” Salisbury says. “We’re trying to utilize it.”
Source: Tami Salisbury, executive director, Eight Mile Boulevard Association
Writer: Kristin Lukowski