Life Remodeled Announces Plans For New East Side Detroit Neighborhood Opportunity Hub

3.8 min readBy Published On: July 6th, 2023Categories: News/Media

Life Remodeled Announces Plans For New East Side Detroit Neighborhood Opportunity Hub

DETROIT (July 11, 2023) – Life Remodeled, the Detroit-based nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming properties into neighborhood hubs of opportunity, announces plans for a new site, similar to the organization’s Durfee Innovation Society on Detroit’s west side. Life Remodeled is in the process of acquiring a 7.55-acre site in the Denby neighborhood on Detroit’s east side, which had been the site of the Winans Academy of Performing Arts after it was the home of Dominican High School from 1940 to 2005. 

The building, located at 9740 McKinney Street, offers more than 87,000 square feet, including more than 50,000 square feet that will be leased by Life Remodeled’s nonprofit partners to bring afterschool youth programs, workforce development initiatives and health and wellness resources to the Denby community. 

“Denby is the ideal location for our first hub on the east side. It is a neighborhood that is engaged, invested and close to the heart and soul of Life Remodeled,” said Life Remodeled’s founder and CEO, Chris Lambert. “In 2016, we partnered with students and community leaders for one year to work toward revitalization together. This new hub will continue that commitment in ways that will make a broader and deeper impact for the long-term.” 

Life Remodeled is eager to serve alongside the Denby community so it will thrive and benefit more Detroiters, as it has in Durfee, where more than 22,000 residents take part in programs every year. Residents of Denby’s zip code, 48224, are challenged with significant poverty and lack access to opportunities related to educational attainment, job opportunities and health and wellness resources. Collaboratively, Life Remodeled and the Denby community aim to foster an environment that genuinely transforms the lives of Detroit’s children and families through this equitable and sustainable development project.

“When the Winans Academy asked us to consider repurposing their building, the Denby Neighborhood Alliance leaders told us loud and clear that they wanted to partner with us to turn this beautiful school building into a hub of opportunity similar to our Durfee Innovation Society. We are inspired and encouraged to move forward,” added Lambert.

Life Remodeled plans to ensure the facility reaches near full capacity by the end of 2025, after a period of design and construction inside and outside of the former school building. Plans for the new hub include a significant presence for arts and culture programs, to continue the tradition of the Winans Academy and also to build upon neighborhood priorities for those programs, supporting the development of the Whittier Corridor as a destination for art and technology. 

“Thank you, Life Remodeled for coming back to support the work of transforming our community through raising the quality of life for our residents,” said Sandra Turner-Handy, the president of the Denby Neighborhood Alliance. “The residents and businesses are invested in continuing the amazing work started with Life Remodeled years ago. We are honored to welcome and continue to support through actively working with Life Remodeled in planning and designing what will become a vital and much needed resource space in our community.”

“We are happy for the acquaintance of Life Remodeled and excited for what they will add to our community with momentum and focus on children, families and culture,” said Pastor Marvin Winans. “We are confident the community will welcome them.”

Life Remodeled will raise funds via philanthropy to complete the needed work on the building and property but has not yet finalized financial requirements. “We want to make sure we get it right, based on the continued feedback we are receiving from the community,” said Lambert.


About Life Remodeled 

There’s a lot of talk but not enough walk when it comes to revitalizing Detroit neighborhoods. Detroiters have all the talent they need, but many don’t have access to all the opportunities they deserve. Therefore, Life Remodeled repurposes vacant school buildings into one stop hubs of opportunity for entire families to thrive. LR fills these iconic buildings with the best and brightest nonprofit organizations who are providing youth programs, workforce development, and human services to tens of thousands of students and community members. LR helps their nonprofit tenants collaborate and create far greater life transformation together than was previously possible alone. Together, they ensure more: 

  1. Detroit students perform at/above grade level in math and reading 
  1. Families have access to essential health and wellness services 
  1. Community members obtain higher paying jobs and achieve economic self-sufficiency 

To learn more about Life Remodeled’s Durfee Innovation Society and other programs, visit