Friday, May 26, 2006

The NFL Youth Education Town

A couple of months ago, I was one of the people around town who were actually grumbling about the NFL Youth Education Town that was being built in Warrendale after Super Bowl XL. I felt that it would've been a lot better if the $6 million that was raised for it was spent on hiring more cops instead building another youth center since DPD wasn't able to respond to every 9-1-1 call.

Everything that I've seen over the past couple of months, however, has prompted me to change my position on this one.

While the former Herman Gardens site is still a fenced-off grassy lot, there is a general vibe in the neighborhood that things are slowly starting to improve. In the five months since the project was announced, for example, I've seen 7 new businesses open in Warrendale.

None of those new businesses were Earth-shatteringly huge - a barber shop, a cell phone store and so one - but still, 7 new businesses in less than 5 months is huge.

It's especially big when you remember that Michigan's overall economy has been, well - let's face it - less than spectacular during those 5 months since these plans were first announced.

I've also noticed a couple of people fixing up some vacant businesses along W. Warren Avenue and putting them up for sale (e.g., the former site of Novack Drugs). That's also a step in the right direction and a big contrast from the old standard of letting it sit forever.

Since all of this started shortly after the NFL/YET was announced, it gives me hope that some thing important to the Warrendale revitalization will arise from this grassy field.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering - it's official name will be the NFL/YET-Boys & Girls Club on the Dick and Sandy Dauch Campus.

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