Taylor, neighbors seek cooperative efforts for Van Born improvements

Officials representing the cities of Taylor, Dearborn Heights and Allen Park recently met to explore the feasibility of a new initiative designed to improve the Van Born Road corridor that runs through each city’s commercial district. The corridor has recently experienced a disproportionate number of vacancies and is seen by many in need of economic development assistance.

"This corridor plays an integral role in all three cities," said Dearborn Heights Mayor Daniel Paletko. "It is a high-traffic corridor that has far more potential than any of us are realizing. At this point, we are simply discussing possibilities on how we could work with our existing businesses -- along with prospective businesses who could relocate here -- to make this corridor a more attractive, vibrant retail and commercial center."

Allen Park Mayor Richard Huebler sees a bright future for such a cooperative effort.

“There is no doubt we’re looking at an area with a lot of potential,” Huebler said. “I’m confident all three cities could benefit greatly by getting together on a good cooperative developmental effort for this corridor.”

Dearborn Heights’ master plan, completed by McKenna Associates Inc., suggests further development of the area through the recruitment of retail and service-related businesses focusing on a small number of business or consumer “themes” (such as automotive-related products and services, home building/home repair businesses, etc.). Such a move would allow the corridor to gain recognition as a “one-stop shopping” area for consumers looking for specific products.

“But we’re open to any and all possibilities that would effectively serve all three cities.” Paletko said.

Taylor Mayor Cameron G. Priebe and Huebler agreed, reinforcing the importance of all three cities cooperating in order to facilitate a long-term improvement. Taylor officials are in the process of updating their master plan.

The three mayors stressed that although there is a desire to see new economic development along the corridor, discussions are still very much in the developmental stages.

“We need to look at a lot of possibilities yet,” Taylor Mayor Priebe added. “This was the first of many more discussions that will need to take place before anything comes to fruition –- but we’re looking forward to the possibilities.”

Allen Park Mayor Richard Huebler (left), Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko and Taylor Mayor Cameron G. Priebe review proposed master plans for economic growth in the Van Born Corridor.