City gets a needed shot in the economic arm

Thanks to a federal grant, the former Shoppers World will be redeveloped.

Despite these gloomy economic times, Hamtramck is enjoying a huge influx of federal cash.

Fifteen million dollars worth.

You can thank the Obama administration for this, because it’s part of the stimulus package. The money is not only going to make good things happen here, it’s also going to put people to work.

And you can also thank the city’s administration, especially Community & Economic Development Director Jason Friedmann, for jumping on this grant and making it happen.

The money is specifically earmarked to build new housing, rehab old housing, knock down housing that can’t be saved and redevelop the empty Shoppers World building.

This is the shot in the arm Hamtramck needs. Because of the wave of foreclosures in recent years, the city’s housing stock has been taking a beating.

And certainly there was a slim chance the former Shopper’s World Building would have found a developer without federal financial aid being made available.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, five developers were hired to get to work, and a marketing company was also hired to make sure the right kind of development happens at Shoppers World.

In one of those rare moments of solidarity, the council worked as a team in approving this.

Let’s hope this is the kick start that will attract more people to live here, as well as shop here.

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