What we do

REVOLVE Detroit is a collaborative program of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation that partners with community leaders, building owners, entrepreneurs, and artists to activate vacant storefronts with transformational businesses and art installations. The goal of the program is to foster the evolution and vibrancy of Detroit’s neighborhood business districts.

Urban Innovation Exchange: Revolve Detroit from DETROIT LIVES! on Vimeo.

REVOLVE for Neighborhoods

Transforming neighborhoods into vibrant retail districts
  • Match entrepreneurs and artists with opportunities to transform vacant spaces into active places
  • Change the conversation, image, and experience on the street and online
  • Grow and attract high-quality and long-term businesses 
  • Build and strengthen partnerships with neighborhood residents and the business community

REVOLVE DETROIT from Manda Moran on Vimeo.

REVOLVE for Building Owners

Revolutionizing the retail recruitment process
  • Match property owners with temporary and permanent tenants
  • Apply innovative marketing techniques to reach new tenant prospects and customers
  • Connect property owners with a suite of resources to create retail-ready space

REVOLVE for Entrepreneurs

Creating venues for new business ventures
  • Connect entrepreneurs with Detroit’s prime neighborhood retail spaces and property owners
  • Create a low-cost, low-risk environment to experiment, test, and refine your business model
  • Assist with permitting, marketing, and resources to grow your business

REVOLVE for Artists

Re-imaging neighborhoods through creative expression
  • Use the arts to spur economic development and neighborhood revitalization
  • Showcase Detroit’s world-class art scene to new audiences in-person and online
  • Transform the image and potential of Detroit’s historic neighborhoods

How We Do It

Every situation is different, but the ingredients for success are the same. REVOLVE believes that a series of small, fast, visible investments can lead to lasting impacts in Detroit’s neighborhoods. Here’s our recipe:


One tool that REVOLVE uses to transform business districts is “pop-up.” We define pop-up as a temporary use in an under-utilized space. Pop-ups allow an entrepreneur to test their business in a location for a month instead of a year (or more) required by a lease. It creates the opportunity to make money, make adjustments, and prove to financers and landlords that a business can succeed. Building owners benefit from getting a prospective long-term tenant and unprecedented marketing. 

Pop-up is especially transformational when combined with other tools. REVOLVE also offers: 

  • Access to financial assistance for temporary and permanent projects
  • Technical assistance for site selection, business planning, permitting, and more

Partnerships are the key to success. Pop-ups that team up with local community organizations gain instant access to insider knowledge about the neighborhood, including direct outreach to residents eager to help and patronize the business they’ve been waiting for. Involving residents in building the pop-up creates a true sense of ownership among the customer base. If WE build it, WE will come. 

Resources to simplify the process

Find permits, sample agreements, checklists, financial resources, and a lot more all in one place: The REVOLVE Guidebook

Tell the story

Pop-up helps tell a story about the revolutionary entrepreneurs and artists changing Detroit and historic properties and neighborhoods. Pop-up is a great marketing tool and we use traditional and social media venues to their fullest potential. We have lots of connections in the press, and nothing makes us happier than reading about people doing good things in Detroit neighborhoods.

Get involved

REVOLVE is always looking for partners to lead Detroit’s Retail Evolution.

  • Stay connected: See what's happening and get updated on future opportunities.
  • Are you a revolutionary? We want to hear your story. Contact us about getting featured on our website.
  • Are you a property owner or community organization looking to fill a vacant space? Contact us about listing your space on our website and ideas about activation.
  • Stay informed and share ideas! Subscribe to our mailing list