THE PROJECT | In collaboration with REVIVAL DETROIT LLC (a real estate renovation outfit in northwest Detroit) and MAKIGUMI LLC (a real estate renovation outfit in Ishinomaki) we will assemble a comparative study of both organizations’ property renovation and social engagement practices. Composed of written, audiovisual, and physical model elements, this study will provide a “tool-kit” of property acquisition, renovation, and management strategies, as well as practices for building trust with the local community and municipal/city government. Students will work with partner organizations to properly contextualize these strategies against the different economies of renovation and new builds in northwest Detroit and Ishinomaki.

REVIVAL DETROIT | A community revitalization company, formed by WMUZ Radio, Inc. Since its founding in 1959, the WMUZ radio station and plant has physically been part and parcel of the Weatherby neighborhood in the Cody-Rouge section of Detroit. The purpose of Revival Detroit, LLC, is to foster, promote and accomplish the revitalization of the ¼ square mile neighborhood in which WMUZ resides (specifically between the geographical boundaries of Plymouth Rd, Burt Rd, Evergreen Rd and Capitol Rd), and renew properties along with the spiritual, social, and cultural vitality of the neighborhood.

MAKIGUMI | Founded in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Tsunami, Makigumi LLC is a start-up that aims to ameliorate Ishinomaki’s long-standing vacancy and demographic challenges through a real estate matching/renovation service; strategic construction of new mixed-use builds; and a community-building initiative that works to build social cohesion between new arrivals and long-time residents.