Crowdfunding campaign launched for the ‘Life Remodeled 2017 Community Innovation Center’ project

Monday, March 13, 2017

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

LANSING, Mich. – The historic Durfee Middle School on Detroit’s west side will soon be transformed into a community innovation center with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and LifeRemodeled announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the Life Remodeled 2017 Community Innovation Center project reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by April 14, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“Creating a collaborative space for students, entrepreneurs, small businesses and community members in the Detroit neighborhoods will have a tremendous impact on the community, and we are proud to partner in this effort,” said MEDC Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “Public Spaces Community Places is a great resource for communities to help turn vision into reality.”

The innovation center will provide business acceleration, maker-spaces, co-working and collaborative spaces, recreation, and opportunities for creativity and resource sharing for local small businesses, entrepreneurs, students and community members. 

“The Community Innovation Center brings together under a single roof the kind of impact we envision when we talk about remodeling lives one neighborhood at a time,” said Life Remodeled CEO Chris Lambert. “Our focus on community gathering spaces like Skinner Park in Denby last year, which benefited from Patronicity support, is what will help make a lasting change in Detroit neighborhoods.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity in which 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, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“The Michigan Municipal League is proponent of placemaking and particularly projects and programs that focus on existing assets in an area or community,” said League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin. “Transforming a historic building like the Durfee school into what will be a vibrant community center is what placemaking is all about. With the public’s help, we have no doubt that this Innovation Center can be a point of pride for years to come.” 

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of February 1, 2017, the MEDC has provided $3,228,500 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 100 projects have been completed with more than $3.5 million raised from 16,441 individual donors.

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.