Transforming Derby’s Alley into a useable public space
By Maxwell Cameron – Derby’s Alley, located next to the Flagship Boutique on Michigan Avenue, is getting a substantial makeover from Wayne Main Street. In 2017, we obtained funding from the American Association of Retired Persons, the Greater Metropolitan Area Realtors Association, Michigan Realtors, and the Wayne Rotary Foundation for phase one of the project. With this funding, our organization was able to purchase and install bistro tables, benches and festoon overhead lighting for the space. The results are spectacular, Derby’s Alley is quickly being transformed into a space that residents will be able to enjoy year-round.
This project is also a credit to the dedication and commitment of Wayne Main Street’s Board and Volunteers. We began working on Derby’s Alley in 2016 with the goal of transforming an underutilized space in the heart of downtown Wayne, into a community gathering and events space. We were able to host three events in Derby’s Alley in 2017, a cardio drumming and Tai Chi fitness series that took place in September and October, our annual Scarecrow Reception in October, and a Visit with Santa which took place in early December. The goal was to get the ball rolling by demonstrating to the community a wide variety of events that are possible in a space like Derby’s Alley. Now, with the addition of permanent seating and lighting in Derby’s Alley, Wayne Main Street hopes even more people will be drawn into the space, especially as weather begins to improve.
Although Derby’s Alley is starting to take shape, we are not done improving the space. We are hoping to install signage, and undertake repairs to the concrete by the end of 2018. Phase two of this project, which we will complete over the next couple of years, involves concrete work and some additional landscaping. For now, Wayne Main Street is excited to share this space with the community and encourages Wayne residents to take advantage of the newest destination in our historic downtown.