Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization’s Managing Director and board members share thoughts on Strategic Alliance

The second article of a series of articles on the Strategic Alliance

by Victoria Shea

In last month’s issue of the Plain Press, the Strategic Alliance between neighborhood development organization, Cudell Improvement and Detroit Shoreway was announced. The news analysis was very brief and took information from the joint-released letter by the two organizations as requests for comments went unanswered. To be fair to both organizations, the joint letter was published in its entirety on the Plain Press website.


Board members and staff of Detroit Shoreway have been helpful since last month’s issue to address questions and concerns directed at them from the Plain Press. Managing Director of Detroit Shoreway, Jenny Spencer, stated that, “We’re gonna figure it out,” when asked about the alliance, but feels that it is going to be a good thing for both organizations. When asked about the question posed in last month’s article in regards to serving the West Boulevard neighborhood, which up until the announcement was being serviced by Cudell Improvement, Spencer stated that the part of the West Boulevard neighborhood South of I-90 will now be serviced by Westtown.

Donna Gonyon, another member of Detroit Shoreway, explained that there was pressure put on city council to compress the CDC’s and that Detroit Shoreway approached Cudell Improvement about forming the alliance. Gonyon said that the process took time because Cudell Improvement did not want to lose their identity, but feels that in general, the Strategic Alliance is a good agreement and a win-win for both sides.

Chris Warren, a member of the Board of Directors of Detroit Shoreway who participated in the Strategic Alliance planning, stated that Cudell Improvement and Detroit Shoreway will stay two separate organizations as written in the initial letter sent out last month. What the Strategic Alliance is, is nothing more than a contract for services. All this means is that Cudell Improvement has chosen to contract with Detroit Shoreway to provide services to the neighborhood that is serviced by Cudell Improvement, he said.

Lastly, Warren also stated that because the alliance is merely a contract for services, with notice, either side can pull out of the alliance at any time.

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