Detroit skyline

An effort to stabilize seven additional Detroit neighborhoods is part of a sweeping $130 million plan announced Monday that would also improve commercial corridors and boost the city’s park system.

The plan is part of Detroit’s ongoing Strategic Neighborhood Fund effort, which started in 2016. The expansion will target these areas: Grand River Northwest, Warrendale/Cody-Rouge, Russell Woods/Nardin Park, Campau/Banglatown, Gratiot/7-Mile, East Warren/Cadieux, and Jefferson Chalmers.

The city is planning to raise $130 million along with Invest Detroit, a community development financial institution. The city said it plans to raise $56 million in corporate and philanthropic funds and match them with local dollars as well state and federal dollars to reach the investment goal.

The Kresge Foundation is making a $15 million commitment to the expansion effort, the city said.

The announcement follows $42 million in investment already committed to three neighborhood areas. The effort first started in Islandview/Greater Villages, Vernor/Southwest and Livernois-McNichols.

“In the first three neighborhoods, we went in and worked with the residents to support development and we saw incredible results,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. “We’ve got new mixed-use apartment buildings with affordable housing, we have more businesses and more parks opening up. We applied the tools that drove the development in downtown and Midtown and put them into neighborhoods, and now we’re expanding that to seven more areas across the city.”

Of the $130 million announced Monday, here’s how the funds will be used:

  • $49 million to invest in streetscape improvements
  • $50 million will be invested in commercial corridor improvements to support commercial, mixed-use and multifamily developments
  • $21 million will be invested to improve the city’s park system
  • $7 million to help stabilize single-family neighborhoods through home rehabilitation and increase density.
  • $3 million will be invested in neighborhood planning efforts to ensure the community is part of process

The city said the goal is to build ten “vibrant, inclusive” areas throughout the city.

The fund will expand its scope to include streetscapes, park improvements, commercial development and housing stabilization, the city said.

News of the expanded neighborhood investment comes two months after Duggan announced an ambitious plan in March to establish a $250-million affordable housing fund that will preserve 10,000 existing units in neighborhoods throughout the city and develop 2,000 new units within the next five years.

The Affordable Housing Leverage Fund will be funded with $50 million in grants, $150 million in low-interest loans, and $50 million in federal and city funds for affordable housing over the next five years.

Duggan said at the time that the “preservation and creation of affordable housing is the cornerstone” of the city’s growth strategy, which is now being coupled with the expansion of the strategic fund.

The Kresge Foundation is the first to commit to the fund, the city said.

“It is an effort that is as complicated as it is important,” said Kresge President Rip Rapson. “It will require all segments of our community – residents, businesses, community- and faith-based organizations, public agencies, and foundations – to work hand-in-glove. For Kresge, that means that we will seek to layer multiple forms of investments – from community-based projects across the city to operating support for community nonprofits to the concentrated housing, economic development and open space investments intended to catalyze the renewal of neighborhoods like Livernois-McNichols.”

In the first phase of the fund, officials from the city’s Planning and Development Department met with residents in the Livernois-McNichols area more than 50 times in a year before announcing the Fitzgerald Revitalization Project. As part of that effort, a new central park is set to open this summer, blighted homes have been demolished and more than 100 vacant homes will be renovated and occupied, the city said, adding it hopes to replicate that approach in the other targeted areas.

Plans are currently underway in the Grand River Northwest area, the city said, and the community engagement process is just starting in Jefferson Chalmers, Russell Woods/Nardin Park, Campau/Banglatown and Warrendale/Cody-Rouge.

Planning will kick off early next year for the Gratiot/7-Mile and East Warren/Cadieux areas.

“The people of Detroit who have stayed through the good times and the bad must be at the forefront of this effort,” said Maurice Cox, director of planning and development. “We want to make sure that Detroit’s recovery includes them because they are Detroit’s future.”

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