Crowdfunding campaign launched for ‘The Commons: 7900 Mack Avenue’

Monday, November 30, 2015

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC and MSHDA’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Mack Avenue Community Church Community Development Corporation today announced a new crowdfunding campaign through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The campaign will support the project to renovate and create a dynamic mixed-used community space on Mack Avenue in Detroit that will feature a literacy center, legal clinic, pastor’s workshop, collaborative workspace, coffee shop and laundromat, and cross-cultural gathering point for all members of the neighboring community. 

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by December 31, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MSHDA and MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“Renovation of 7900 Mack Avenue and the creation of the Commons will be an asset to the community for youth and adults, bringing resources to community members that were previously not accessible,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. “Public Spaces Community Places is a great resource for communities to help turn vision into reality.”

“Residents of Indian Village, Pingree Park, and the surrounding areas will really benefit from these changes happening at 7900 Mack Avenue,” said Kevin Elsenheimer, executive director at MSHDA. “The Commons the potential to inspire meaningful community-led collaboration by bringing together the diversity of the surrounding neighborhoods to boost business, development and programming.”

As of Summer 2015, MACC Development completed major repairs to the facade of 7900 Mack Avenue, a 12,000 square foot commercial property abandoned years ago to the county tax auction. Now, new cedar siding and clean, grey brick-face has both left intact the historic appeal of the building while replacing its deteriorating elements. These improvements have created an excitement for a new, dynamic, mixed-used community space on Mack Avenue. The building will house a coffee shop, Laundromat, literacy center, legal clinic, window-lit common space, and a publicly-available work and office space. The Commons will be a center for community development, a cross-cultural gathering point, a place of learning and a rallying point for the diverse neighboring communities. 

“We are very proud to call home a community many so-called experts declared too far gone.” said Jonathan Demers, Executive Director of MACC Development. “The Commons is a wager, a confirmation that genuine, equitable stabilization in Detroit should begin and end in the city’s neighborhoods. We’re excited to play a small part in that stabilization through returning business, resources, and community space back to Mack Avenue.” 

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, MSHDA, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, non-profits and other business entities can apply at

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About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.