Woodborn Partners has started work on The Brooke on Bagley in southwest Detroit, a new mixed-use and mixed-income apartment development that’s part of the Strategic Neighborhood Fund initiative.
The $23-million project at 2420 Bagley St. will replace a vacant lot on the northwest corner of Bagley and 16th streets with 78 apartments and 2,105 square feet of retail space. The location is near Honey Bee Market and Michigan Central, Ford Motor Co.’s emerging mobility innovation hub at the former train station at Michigan Avenue and 15th Street.
Sixteen of the units will be set aside as affordable housing at 80 percent area median income (AMI). There will be 38 one-bedrooms, three two-bedrooms, and 37 studio apartments.
Amenities include on-site staff, electric vehicle charging stations, and indoor and outdoor recreational space featuring a fire pit, plus local art, murals, and photography. The two-tiered outdoor space and the indoor lounge will also be open to the community for special events.
“As we continue to beautify and strengthen neighborhoods across Detroit, we have made a promise to keep creating opportunity and making Detroit a more equitable city,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “This is how we are rebuilding our city as a place of beauty where any Detroiter can afford to live in any neighborhood they choose.”
Led by Clifford A. Brown, Woodborn Partners is a full-service, Detroit-headquartered development company that has completed The Coe at West Village and The Scott in Midtown. The Brooke is named for Brown’s 14-year-old daughter “as an expression of my commitment to the project and the community,” he says.
The development also is near the future Southwest Greenway, a pedestrian pathway that replaces a former rail line that will connect the Detroit riverfront and the Joe Louis Greenway that is now under construction.
In preparation for the Brooke, Woodborn conducted community meetings, surveyed residents about what kind of retail they would like to see in the building, and offered bilingual informational literature for Spanish-speaking neighbors.
The Strategic Neighborhood Fund was launched in 2014 in three neighborhoods, which expanded to 10 in 2018. The SNF is a $150 million private-public partnership between the City of Detroit and the nonprofit Invest Detroit funded by six corporate funders and several philanthropic organizations to invest in housing stabilization, improving parks, commercial corridors, streetscapes, and equitable opportunities for local business owners of color.
Other SNF projects in the Southwest/Vernor SNF area include a $3.3 million makeover for Clark Park that is under way, a $2.5 million streetscape for Bagley Street that was completed in 2020, and a $4.6 million renovation of The Murray, a long-vacant rowhouse that reopened last year as 12 units of affordable and market-rate housing.
“The Strategic Neighborhood Fund has been a catalyst for creating equitable development projects in Detroit,” says Keona Cowan, executive vice president of lending for Invest Detroit. “The goal of SNF is to support projects that benefit all Detroiters by providing more housing options in neighborhoods, ensuring there are affordable places to live in the city, and increasing access to jobs in residents’ own communities. We want all Detroiters to benefit from the positive changes taking place in neighborhoods all over the city.”
The Brooke is also the first project to tap the $11 million Ebiara fund, which was launched in July through a partnership between nonprofit Invest Detroit and consulting firm URGE Imprint, with the Kresge Foundation providing the funding.
In addition to the SNF and Ebiara, the development was made possible through financial partners Capital Impact Partners, the Michigan Strategic Fund, Detroit Economic Growth Corp., the Impact Developer’s Fund through TruFund, the Ford Foundation, and Morgan Stanley.
The general contractor on The Brooke is Detroit-based Sachse Construction. Gensler Detroit is the architect.
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