Mayor of Dearborn discusses future of downtown Fairlane in wake of upcoming sale

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Dearborn’s newly elected mayor has a new vision for downtown Fairlane and wants to connect the east and west sides of the city.

“This is a project that is more than just economic development,” Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud said. “It’s public health, environmental sustainability.”

Hammoud and the city managers spent the day Saturday getting on a school bus and criss-crossing the city.

With the new owners of Fairlane Town Center expected to be announced next month, Hammoud wants to see the neighborhood transformed.

“We’re talking about 8,500 parking spaces, more than we need,” he said. “So when we’re solving a lot of problems, giving way to bike lanes and hiking trails, more green space to help solve flooding problems, that’s where we can start.”

The 1.4 million square foot space was put up for sale after the current owner failed to repay his loans.

Hammoud says the state is brimming with federal COVID-19 relief funds and wants some of that money spent on revitalizing the surrounding area.

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“We’re flipping the script,” he said. “If developers want to operate here, there needs to be community development.”

Opened in 1976, over 80% of the mall is currently filled.

Hammoud says there is untapped potential and he wants the city to take the lead in development.

“We are not sitting on the sidelines,” he said. “We have bulldog hats and want to drive the conversation.”

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