THE COMMONS - COFFEE SHOP AND LAUNDROMAT
Mack Avenue on Detroit's lower east side was once a thriving commercial corridor with businesses lining both sides of the street. Today, along a thirteen block stretch is nearly 50% vacant land and the buildings that are still standing have few businesses operating in them.
Purchased for $500 off of the Wayne County Tax Auction after sitting vacant for several years on a corridor that hadn't escaped the 1967 rebellion/riot 7900 Mack was formerly a furniture warehouse with the opportunity to be much more.
A business, if done right, can thrive in any neighborhood but it takes thoughtful community engagement and innovative thinking to determine just what that business could be along with recognizing the market opportunity.
Born out of authentic engagement with the community, once piles of dust and furniture rose as a third space between work and home with The Commons - a unique coffee shop/laundromat. The products, aesthetic and staff were all thoughtfully crafted to create a space in which neighbors from both sides of Mack Avenue could feel welcome.
The Commons now stands as a beacon of hope in the community and a signal to the world at large that beautifully crafted businesses and space can thrive in Detroit's neighborhoods. The Commons has been featured in numerous articles and won the 2018 Commerce Design Award.