MEXICANTOWN 6370 Vernor Highway
Centrally located on the north edge of Mexican Town, 6370 Vernor Highway sits at the intersection of an industrial rail interchange to the northwest and the burgeoning Latino immigrant communities to the southeast. The site has the potential to become a future nexus for Mexican Town’s teaming neighborhoods and cultural centers.
While the residential neighborhoods to the south have high crime and foreclosure rates, they are also known for their exciting mixture of eclectic architecture, culinary offerings, and musical appeal. Located on Vernor Highway, Mexican Town’s cultural “spine” features touristy areas amidst the smells of freshly made tortillas and baked goods and the rhythms of merengue and salsa. Aesthetically, Mexican Town is known for its vibrantly colored buildings and beautifully painted murals.
Mexican Town is a cultural hub that attracts many visitors from outside of the community as well as cross-town tourists. Authentic Mexican restaurants and markets resist the pressures of corporate commodification of Mexican identity. The broad area known colloquially as Mexican Town is interspersed with distinct Latino immigrant communities and is bounded by Fort Street to the south, the Central Railway to the northwest, West Grand Boulevard to the east, and Michigan Avenue to the north.
The site’s northern neighbor, the Central Railway container yard, is an active infrastructural element connecting the City of Detroit and the United States to trade with Canada. The site holds potential for mediating borderline architectures to emerge.
The site is zoned M4 – Intensive Industrial District, defined as “a district that will permit uses which are usually objectionable, and therefore, the district is rarely, if ever, located adjacent to residential districts” (City of Detroit Zoning Ordinance).