How a southwest Detroit construction company is building community by building for the future

By ModelD Media

In May, AGI Construction held a cleanup event near Stanton Park in southwest Detroit where they are building a community space called Detroit Future Ops. It was rainy and cold, but nearly 40 people showed up, Tanya Saldivar-Ali recalls. 

“We were so excited and humbled by the support we had from the community,” says the business development director for AGI, a southwest Detroit-based construction company. 

AGI, which Saldivar-Ali co-founded with her husband Luis Ali more than 10 years ago, provides commercial interior remodeling, retrofitting, and building services to community development projects. 

“We didn’t just clean up our property,” Saldivar-Ali says. Being there showed “we’re here and we want to help contribute to the community.” 

So the group cleaned other people’s properties, the park, and other surrounding areas in addition to their own building.

Saldiver-Ali says AGI is being intentional about modeling how businesses should enter communities with a sense of social responsibility. The couple, who have been dating since their time at Western International High School, are from the community themselves and especially aware of the need to be respectful to longtime residents.

They’re planning another event on July 7 at Stanton Park where they’ll highlight these residents and invite them to tell their stories and memories about the neighborhood and how it’s changing. They’ll also present a conceptual design for the house, so people can provide input on it as well as how to activate the park. 

“I think that’s a big piece — about letting people know your history,” Ali says. “It’s an interesting time where everything’s going to change. You’ve got new people coming, people that have been here for a few years, and think, ‘This is our community.’ And there are people who have been here much longer.” … Read full article here.

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