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SUCCESS STORIES

In Detroit there are many ideas of what success looks like. Read below to understand the stories of developers of all scales and opportunities in place making to make Detroit an even better place to live, work and do development.

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Multifamily Affordable Housing Strategy

Affordable housing is central to the City of Detroit’s growth strategy and will play a key role in the City’s ability to retain existing residents, attract new residents, and create mixed-income neighborhoods. The City of Detroit is focused on two fronts: preserving the affordability and quality of the existing housing stock, and producing new housing that is priced affordably to people across a range of incomes. Both critical approaches support the City’s objective to provide residents with quality affordable housing options accessible to public transit, employment hubs, and other essential services.

The City released its Multifamily Affordable Housing Strategy in early 2018 to guide its actions toward preserving 10,000 units of existing affordable multifamily units and development of 2,000 new affordable multifamily units by 2023. Central to these strategies is the City’s commitment to make the lead investment of $50 million to establish the Affordable Housing Leverage Fund and work with financial institutions and philanthropic stakeholders to build a $250 million fund. This fund will be used to preserve existing affordable housing, produce new affordable housing, including supportive housing, and strengthen neighborhoods though investments in large-scale single-family stabilization projects.

Full document available here.

Single Family Home Development: Fitzgerald Revitalization

The City of Detroit is piloting an innovative comprehensive revitalization strategy with the goal of creating a blight-free quarter square mile in Northwest Detroit’s Fitzgerald neighborhood. The project area is located between two longstanding academic institutions, Marygrove College and the University of Detroit-Mercy, and is bordered by two growing commercial corridors, Livernois Avenue and W. McNichols Road. Despite these assets, the area contained a concentration of over 400 non-contiguous publicly-owned lots and homes ranging in condition.

In order to transform every vacant lot and home in the project area, the City established a holistic strategy with three components:

  1.  Renovation of 115 vacant homes, both for rent and for sale priced at the neighborhood market rate. Of the rental homes, 20% will be affordable for Detroit families earning 80 percent or less of the area median income.
  2.  Landscaping and maintenance of nearly 200 vacant lots, creating productive landscape in place of overgrown and unkempt lots.
  3.  Creation of a greenway through the neighborhood to improve connectivity and provide access to a new 2-acre central park.

Fitz Forward, a partnership between local development firms Century Partners and the Platform, is leading the home rehab and vacant lot improvements. The City’s Parks & Recreation Department is leading the construction of the park and greenway.


The Fitzgerald Revitalization Project, an inclusive, community-driven effort, will provide a model plan for revitalizing Detroit neighborhoods with existing residents in mind. The project takes a holistic approach to vacant property by transforming all of the publicly owned vacant buildings and lots in the project area into community assets. The plan for Fitzgerald revolves around preserving neighborhood character and increasing density without the need to construct a single new structure. By rehabilitating existing homes that are salvageable and creating new community spaces and productive landscapes on vacant lots, the project will create a first of its kind neighborhood that looks beautiful and feels complete and does not rely on infill housing to achieve this goal.


Mayor Mike Duggan said the project is a way to grow our neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for the many Detroiters who call this neighborhood home.


To learn more about the Fitzgerald Revitalization Project, click here.

Placemaking IconINITIATIVES

Strategic Neighborhood Fund
Phase 1 of the Strategic Neighborhood Fund - $30M raise for investments in Islandview/Greater Villages, Southwest/ W. Vernor and Livernois – McNichols
Phase 2 of the Strategic Neighborhood Fund will support $130M in investment in 7 additional neighborhoods

The City of Detroit and Invest Detroit established a $30M Strategic Neighborhood Fund in 2016 to fill in the real estate gaps in targeted underserved Detroit Neighborhoods. The fund initially targeted three neighborhoods: The Villages, Southwest Detroit and Livernois – McNichols. The goal is to increase density, strengthen commercial corridors and enhance public infrastructure (i.e roads, parks etc.). In each of the three neighborhoods, the SNF will activate an eight to twelve block Microdistrict and support gap-financing for development projects.


The next phase of the Strategic Neighborhood Plan was recently announced which will expand investments into a total of ten neighborhoods across the City of Detroit and support comprehensive capital investments across development, parks, streetscapes and single family home interventions.

To learn more about the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, check out:

Neighborhood Retail Opportunities

In 2017 the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) conducted a Neighborhood Retail Study, which included a citywide review of consumer expenditures and commercial real estate along key neighborhood commercial corridors in Detroit. The team found that there is high demand for retail goods in all of the neighborhood corridors studied, particularly in the Neighborhood Goods and Services (NG&S) category which includes things such as grocery stores, pharmacies, hair salons and dry cleaners.


Because the study also revealed that there is more retail square footage than the market can support in each neighborhood, the team also identified then right balance of retail and a strategy for non-retail uses along the commercial corridors.

The overall goal is to leverage Motor City Match, Motor City Re-Store programs, as well as demand-driven small business to activate neighborhood corridors and capitalize on the opportunity that exists in each neighborhood.

To learn more, check out: Neighborhood Retail Study

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