University Commons Organization
Owner & Founder
Simply Casual Clothing Store
Livernois Avenue of Fashion
Live it up on Livernois.
Before the term “mall” existed in the American lexicon, Livernois was one of the top regional destinations for luxury shopping. Affectionately referred to as “The Avenue of Fashion,” shops like B. Siegel Co., Woolworths, and Grinnell, the famed piano, were trend setters in the local retail industry and widely respected for the highest levels of quality and customer service. Livernois has a rich musical legacy defined by American jazz. Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, America’s oldest operating jazz club, continues to anchor the Avenue since 1933. Jazz greats like Art Tatum, Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and countless others have graced Baker’s stage. Baker's piano-shaped bar inspired Liberace to install his famous piano-shaped swimming pool at his home in Beverly Hills. Marvin Gaye also used to live in the neighborhood. Behind this great history, African-American cultural heritage has played the guiding role in shaping the arts and business on Livernois.
This rich legacy continues today. Businesses like Simply Casual and Flagship Boutique deliver contemporary fashions and experience. 1917 American Bistro provides a venue for culinary excellence and up-and-coming jazz artists. Jo’s Gallery has provided a venue for fine African-American art for nearly 30 years. Many local eminent artists, architects, and business owners still call this area home.
The Livernois area has always benefited from tremendous economic assets. Livernois Avenue is surrounded by some of the city’s most stable and architecturally distinctive neighborhoods. Two of the city’s premiere higher education institutions, the University of Detroit Mercy and Marygrove College, are less than two miles away from the main shopping district. Within approximately one mile of the district, there are nearly 9,000 households, with average incomes of $50,000. Income density (the concentration of spending power) is nearly 7 times higher than the regional average. There are over 6,000 college students just steps away.
Despite these assets, the business district suffers from high vacancy and retail leakage. Residents within one mile spend approximately $140 million on retail purchases out of the area, representing nearly 50% of local resident consumer spending (this does not include student spending). With these challenges come tremendous opportunities.