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Thank you for your interest in the Neighborhood Retail Opportunity Study, conducted by the DEGC’s Small Business Services Team. The purpose of this study is to understand how our team can most effectively meet demand and fill vacancies, to set businesses up for success and create thriving neighborhoods. Whether you’re a business owner, building owner, resident, developer or technical assistance provider, you’ll find that Detroit has an incredible opportunity to support additional retail throughout its commercial corridors. This website is intended not only to provide you with the Full Report and Executive Summary, but also to allow for access to the Study’s many exciting, untraditional deliverables, such as neighborhood snapshots and retail construction prototypes. We invite you to look through all of the information here, and reach out to our Team with any additional questions, concerns, comments or ideas.



Detroit has many unique neighborhoods. Find out which neighborhood has the most demand for your specific business type.


Learn more about each neighborhood, including assets and development opportunities, here!


Retail and good design go hand in hand. Find out how to make your business look its best, and also learn some strategies for how non-retail businesses can complement their corridors.


If you’re ready to open up shop, or simply considering starting a new business in Detroit, make sure and check out the resources available to you.


Retail differs from general commercial activity in a few, very important ways. Retailers include everything from a grocery store to a shoe repair shop; an expensive restaurant to a corner cafe. If it’s a brick-and-mortar location into which anyone can walk and procure a good or service, it’s a retail business.

Regardless of the retail typology, there are common elements that are considered the best practices for creating high-functioning, retail environments. When looking for space, retailers consider the following:

  • Minimum level of neighborhood residential density to generate enough sales to support a retail cluster
  • Neighborhood employment/daytime population density
  • Appropriate traffic counts
  • Traffic speeds that do not create feelings of discomfort for pedestrians and bikers
  • Appropriate street parking and parking adjacent to storefronts.

Detroit has over 300 miles of commercial corridors. This cannot all be programed with retail businesses, and therefore non-retail users are an important part the strategy to create thriving neighborhoods. Non-retail users found in storefront locations include professional offices (attorneys, accountants, architects, engineers), automobile service centers, daycare/educational facilities, religious facilities, government offices, funeral homes, and even private residences. These tenants are characterized as “non-retail” because each is generally not open to the public, has limited hours of activation, does not offer goods and services without prior appointment, and infrequently uses the storefront area for display purposes.


To calculate demand for the 11 neighborhoods, the Study undertook a series of analyses. First, the existing conditions, supply, and competition were assessed. Boundaries for trade areas were then drawn – impacted by drive times, sociological and geographical boundaries, shopping patterns, and other similar factors. The Study then assessed the current population to specifically determine customer behavior and spending. These consumer expenditures were translated into square feet to further define total retail opportunity for each neighborhood studied. Finally, the current supply of retail businesses in each neighborhood was subtracted from demand to highlight opportunities for additional retail.

1. Identify corridors and boundries

2. Inventory retail appropriate and occupied space

3. Delineate trade areas

4. Track Expenditures by customer type

5. Assign capture rates

6. Translate demand into square feet of retail supported

7. Create corridor-specific recommendations and strategies