- Associated Press - Thursday, March 2, 2017

RIVER ROGUE, Mich. (AP) - Officials in an industrial suburb of Detroit are trying to lure artists and others to move into vacant properties in the city’s central business district.

The effort is part of a new initiative in River Rouge to create a vibrant art community, the Detroit Free Press reported (https://on.freep.com/2meCzpr ). The area has seen its industrial base slowly erode and is still recovering from a three-year bridge closure that cut off traffic.

“We’re climbing out of the ashes, so to speak,” said Daniel Cooney, River Rogue councilman.

City officials are planning to offer a bus tour of River Rouge for the Russell Industrial Center’s former tenants, who recently were left in limbo after Detroit ordered the center closed.

River Rouge officials are also compiling lease, tax, ownership and other information about available properties to make it easier for anyone to rent or buy in the city.

“We’re putting a little catalog together of all the properties that are vacant in the city, who owns them, and (whether they’re) willing to lease or sell,” said Karl Laub, community development director for River Rouge. “I think we have 15 to 20 of them. We also have an office building.”

He said rent for available commercial properties in River Rouge ranges from about $600 to $1,000 a month.

City officials area also seeking grants to support art-related activities.

“We’ve been wanting to try to bring the art community here for a long time,” Laub said. “It’s a great old city, and there’s some good buildings.”

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com


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