Chene Street is one of those places you can go in Detroit if you ever need a reality check and want to experience a neighborhood in true despair. Over decades of abandonment and disinvestment, the crack epidemic and rampant crime, the once-vibrant working class community surrounding a retail and business strip morphed into a burned-out urban prairie, a place defined by poverty, emptiness and decay.
So it was something of a shock to see a state-of-the-art football field taking shape on the site of the former abandoned and heavily blighted Frederick Douglass Academy high school.
The field, at 2600 Mack Ave., has been owned since 2014 by the Detroit Edison Public School Academy, according to Loveland Technologies. The school is located a few blocks away at 1903 Wilkins St.