Growing a Community

We hear the word community used a lot these days, so much so that it is often diluted to mean any situation in which a group of people are assembled.  But simply having a group of people working or living in close proximity to one another does not, by itself, create a community.  It’s only when meaningful relationships begin to form between those people that a true community can emerge and start to grow, organically, over time.

That, in a nutshell, is the approach we’ve used to form and grow the Green Garage community of businesses over the past four years.  It started with a set of goals centered around a deep exploration of sustainability in an urban environment (in this case Midtown Detroit) and the intention to create an environment within the Green Garage that would help grow and nurture triple bottom line businesses.  Part of that work involves providing these businesses with office space, whether it be a five-person office, a single desk, or a shared table space.  This is what people first see when they walk into the Green Garage: an open floor plan with an assembly of office spaces — a “co-working space.”  And yet those that spend any time there quickly realize that the true heart of the Green Garage is its co-working community: the people that make up the businesses and the relationships that they form over time.

Exterior shot,  January 1, 2015As we near the completion of construction at the El Moore and this 1898 apartment building is given new life, we are beginning to shift our attention to fostering a new community — a community of co-residents rather than coworkers.  The El Moore Residences will be comprised of the thirteen studio, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments and, as at the Green Garage, we are not interested in simply leasing space.  Instead, we are allowing time for the formation of a residential community centered around the exploration of the nature of sustainable urban living.

By “nature,” we mean two things:  first, we’re talking about reintroducing nature into the urban setting, about growing a strong connection between daily urban living and the natural world.  And second, we’re referring to the “nature” of living sustainably in an urban environment. This meaning has to do with how the common goals of a community can help create a more sustainable way of life, a way of life that is then reinforced by the relationships formed between community members.

We are now beginning to have conversations with people that are interested in living at the El Moore and joining us in exploring the nature of sustainable urban living.  If this is of interest to you or someone you know, please feel free to contact us directly at (313) 444-4054. We look forward to hearing from you!