Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Milwaukee Junction Apartments Open Bringing Affordable Housing New Center
The City of Detroit Housing and Revitalization Department announced Monday that a new affordable-housing development project in the city’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood has opened and residents are moving in.
The 22,845-square-foot, four-story development at 258 E. Milwaukee St. cost about $8 million to build. So far, 12 residents have moved in. This project serves as a component of the neighborhood revitalization work being implemented in Detroit’s New Center neighborhood and serves as a beacon of mixed income housing in an area of the city that is seeing increasing rents and demand.
Developed by Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance (DCPA) and Bingham Farms-based MHT Housing, the Milwaukee Junction Apartments offer 25 units of housing with 20 of them offered at affordable rates, ranging from 40 percent to 80 percent area median income (AMI). This translates to $454 to $945 a month, with water included. The affordability of these units is made possible through Low-Income Housing Tax Credits through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and support from the Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department and the Detroit Housing Commission.
“We know that those who are making the least sometimes need the most help,” says Cleophus Bradley, director of operations for the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance. “We also believe that affordable housing done right, does the most good to create housing options that are every bit as good as non-affordable housing. Just because they cannot afford to pay more does not mean they deserve less.”
For that reason, there is no difference between the units designated as affordable and the market rate units, helping to ensure quality housing for Detroiters, no matter their income. The DCPA is dedicated to strengthening residents’ quality of life through community activism and social programs, as well as spiritual support.
“This is truly a mixed-income development, one that is representative of the community as a whole,” says Julie Schneider, director of the Housing, Planning and Development Department. “It is so important that we create developments and neighborhoods with Detroiters of all walks of life together instead of sectioning off people based on their income. It also creates affordable housing opportunities in an area experiencing rising rents. A successful city is an inclusive city, and this is why it is one of our key missions as a department.”
The Milwaukee Junction Apartments feature a large community room, private parking, and a bike storage room. The units themselves offer amenities such as central air conditioning, in-unit washers and dryers, and energy-efficient LED lighting.
The building also offers bus and QLINE stops within walking distance, helping to make it transit-friendly for residents and providing access to all of the amenities along the Woodward Corridor and New Center, medical care at nearby Henry Ford Hospital and the Detroit Medical Center, and access to cultural amenities such as the Detroit Institute of Arts. The development also features about 1,800 square feet of ground-floor retail space to serve residents of the property and neighbors in the community alike.
The project is a single four-story building with one unit located on the first floor along with common area amenities including a lobby and large community room for resident gatherings and events, a mailroom, a bike storage room, and a mechanical room. The remaining 24 residential units are located on the second, third, and fourth floors. The project features a transit-oriented theme with the building sitting along Milwaukee with minimal setback.
The Milwaukee Junction project is similar to one that the DCPA/MHT opened in 2019, a $9.5 million 36-unit mixed-use affordable housing development at 9100 Gratiot, near Eastern Market. Most of the DCPA’s focus has been on the city’s east side, but after seeing the cost of rents increase in the greater New Center area, “we decided to help increase the amount of affordable housing for residents in the neighborhood,” Bradley says.
The Milwaukee Junction Apartments is managed by Continental Construction and Management, a subsidiary of MHT Housing.
Rocket Mortgage Classic Moves to July 25-31 in 2022
The fourth edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic will be played July 25-31, 2022 at Detroit Golf Club, according to the 2022 PGA Tour schedule released today.
“We are excited to host another terrific week of golf next summer when the Rocket Mortgage Classic returns to Detroit Golf Club,” says Jason Langwell, executive director of the tournament. “Now in its fourth year, the event has quickly become a summertime tradition celebrating many of the world’s best golfers all competing to help support a very worthwhile cause – ending the digital divide in Detroit.”
This is the third different summer weekend that the event has been scheduled. The first, in 2019 won by Nate Lashley, was played June 27-30. The 2020 and 2021 events (won by Bryson DeChambeau and Cam Davis, respectively) were played over the July 4 weekend.
This year’s tournament will be sandwiched between the 3M Open in Minnesota and the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina.
Canadian Firm Acquires Novo Building Products
Novo Building Products in Zeeland (southwest of Grand Rapids) has been acquired by Hardwoods Distribution Inc. (HDI) of Langley, British Columbia, Canada, from Blue Wolf Capital Partners of New York. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Novo Building Products is a manufacturer and distributor of stair parts, mouldings, doors, and specialty millwork, along with a variety of board products. It operates Ornamental Decorative Millwork, L.J. Smith Stair Systems, Empire Moulding and Millwork, Southwest Moulding and Millwork, and Novo Direct.
HDI is one of North America’s largest wholesale distributors of architectural building products to the residential and commercial construction sectors. It operates a network of 70 distribution facilities.
“We’re excited about joining the impressive HDI family of distribution,” says Jeff Leys, president and COO of Novo Building Products. “This is a time of growth at Novo Building Products and this recent acquisition helps strengthen us in the marketplace.”
Cleary University Makes Improvements to Howell Campus
Cleary University, with its main campus in Howell and a presence in Detroit, will be welcoming students to its main campus this fall with an improved campus with expanded sports, service, and learning options as well as new security features.
In addition to the golf simulators and chiropractic clinic that were added in 2020 to its Wellness Center, Cleary University has constructed an Esports arena, expanded Clancy’s cafeteria and built a spirit wear store in Cleary Commons. The business university also has moved its hockey team to 140 Ice Den as its home ice and partnered with MIPS (Michigan International Prep School) to build a Fab Lab on campus, an innovation center where hands-on learning will promote digital media, artificial intelligence, 3-D prototyping, and more STEM-focused subjects for Cleary students.
“Everything we are doing is to enhance the student experience and ensure that they have an impactful time at Cleary,” says Matthew Bennett, senior vice president for institutional advancement. “These improvements demonstrate our persistence and tenacity that, despite a pandemic, we are forging ahead and providing a higher education experience that is unparalleled in the region.”
On campus, sidewalks now have improved accessibility, there is enhanced campus-wide WiFi, security cameras, and blue phones provide enhanced student safety, supported by an expanded security team.
“This is all about helping students achieve their career goals,” says Bennett. “The intersection of theory and practice occurs on our campus, and we are constantly striving to improve and increase options, so a Cleary education is all-encompassing and infinitely expansive. These expansions show our commitment to not only our student body, but the community as a whole and the wider region.”
Families Against Narcotics 5K Run/Walk Takes Place Saturday
Families Against Narcotics (FAN) in Clinton Township is hosting its 13th annual Run Drugs Out of Town 5K Run/Walk fundraiser this Saturday, Aug. 7, at Fraser High School.
Check-in and onsite registration begin at 8 a.m., followed by the opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. The run/walk will commence shortly thereafter.
Due to the pandemic, the Run Drugs Out of Town was done virtually. More than 1,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s event to help increase awareness of addiction and raise money to fund the many programs FAN provides to individuals and families who have been affected by the disease.
“We’re grateful and excited that we’re able to hold our Run Drugs Out of Town 5K in person again this year,” says, Linda Davis, executive director of FAN. “The pandemic forced us to go virtual last year, and we missed the crowd, the festivities, and the positive energy. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at Fraser High School on Aug. 7.”
To register for Run Drugs Out of Town, visit here.
Kalamazoo to be Featured on New Television Show
Video crews from a new half-hour weekly TV show called “John McGivern’s Main Streets” were in Kalamazoo recently gathering content for an upcoming episode.
Kalamazoo was one of only two Michigan locations chosen for the show.
The show, set to debut in January 2022, is led by five-time Emmy Award winning actor, comedian, and TV host John McGivern. The program will feature 13 main streets all over the upper Midwest, from Wisconsin to Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana.
“When the ‘Main Streets’ producers reached out, we were thrilled that they chose Kalamazoo as one of their locations to feature,” says Jane Ghosh, president and CEO of Discover Kalamazoo. “We are so fortunate for the many wonderful people and places here that they were able to highlight and are very proud of the community we represent.”
The film crew interviewed several local business owners and area leaders, toured major attractions, and engaged in some hands-on and behind-the-scenes experiences.
“John McGivern’s Main Streets” is produced by Plum Media of Milwaukee.