Detroit not selected for $30 million federal grant for Brewster-Douglass, Eastern Market, Brush Park development
City has said not getting grant does not mean project will not move forward
Detroit will not receive a large federal grant to help build a massive development on the site of the former Brewster-Douglass housing projects and redeveloping properties in Eastern Market and Brush Park.
A notice posted to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development website says five cities other than Detroit have been selected as finalists to receive up to $30 million in Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant funding.
The news is a blow to the city in its efforts to redevelop the area, but officials have said that not getting the grant does not mean the project will not move forward.
The city says in the executive summary for its transformation plan for the 25-acre area that it will work with the implementation team, philanthropic community and neighborhood and government leaders “to leverage and raise dollars to implement the plan, as funded.”
Selected as finalists for the implementation grant funding are Boston; Camden, N.J.; Denver; Louisville, Ky.; and St. Louis. Detroit was one of 29 applicants not selected for funding this fiscal year, HUD says.
“The city, Detroit Housing Commission and Choice Detroit LLC are really proud of our application. There was a lot of competition from LA, NYC and other great cities that are also disappointed today,” James Arthur Jemison, the city’s director of housing and revitalization, said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
The Detroit Housing Commission owns the Brewster-Douglass property, which is about 22 acres. Choice Detroit LLC is the joint-venture development entity selected to serve as what is called the “housing implementation entity” for grant-application purposes.
“We are still committed to the goals of the transformation plan – redeveloping this land in a way that will add to the city’s ongoing resurgence and creating quality new housing for Detroiters of all income levels,” Jemison continued.
“The city and DHC will convene the partners and discuss next steps.”
Crain’s first reported last month that the plan calls for the development of 1,037 housing units across four greater downtown sites: the former Brewster-Douglass housing projects site, a pair of Eastern Market sites and a fourth site on Alfred Street in Brush Park.
The total plan has an estimated $416.6 million price tag.
It also includes things such as enhanced health, education, workforce development and youth services; a new 1-acre public park called Douglass Park at the Brewster-Douglass site; and improvements to and restoration of the street grid and pedestrian access from Brewster-Douglass/Brush Park into Eastern Market over I-75.
Specifically, the housing plan calls for new units at:
The Brewster-Douglass site, which is planned for 850 residential units, the majority of which would be rentals, although for-sale townhouses could be part of the mix. It would include 224 public housing replacement units. The site would include 13,400 square feet of neighborhood retail space, plus community and social services space.
A site at 3480 Russell St. in Eastern Market would have 71 Low Income Housing Tax Credit and market-rate apartments, 24 of which would be live-work units. The project would include 12,000 square feet of first-floor retail space and a 9,000-square-foot light-industrial building that would make possible an expansion of the proposed Detroit Regional Food Accelerator.
The open-air Shed 4 site in Eastern Market would be enclosed and 20,000 square feet of commercial space, plus 62 workforce and market-rate apartments, would be added on upper floors.
A property at 124 Alfred St. in Brush Park would be developed with a 54-unit age-restricted building with eight public housing replacement units.
In addition to HUD funding, other funding sources could include Community Development Block Grants and HOME Investment Partnership Program funds; city funds; low-income housing tax credits; New Markets tax credits; private equity; and state of Michigan funding.
In May, Crain’s first reported the four developers that are part of Choice Detroit: Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC; Novi-based Ginosko Development Co.; Columbia, Md.-based Enterprise Community Partners; and KBK Enterprises, which has offices in Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh.
Source: Crain’s Detroit Business