Detroit Officials to Develop Banglatown School in Residential Units

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As development continues in Detroit’s neighborhoods, city officials today announced a $6.4-million plan to collaborate with Ethos Development Partners to create residential housing in the former Transfiguration School in the Banglatown Neighborhood, near the Hamtramck border. The Catholic school, vacant since 2005, will become a 23-unit apartment building will feature one and two-bedroom units, all of which will be provided at 60 percent of the area median income.

The building will also feature spaces to reflect the needs of residents, including the renovation of the historic building and a proposed construction of a new third floor. Built in 1925, Ethos and Building Blocks Nonprofit Housing Corp. will acquire the Transfiguration School from the Archdiocese of Detroit later this year.

“This is just another great example of some serious development in one of our most diverse neighborhoods,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Banglatown is a vibrant, growing community and I am so excited that we are starting to build and increase density in this area with a partner that has made a strong commitment to the entire neighborhood.”

The project also includes a neighborhood stabilization plan, focusing on the most blighted parts of the neighborhood. Eighteen blighted vacant homes near the school will be demolished to provide needed relief for the health and safety concerns of current residents and to open up space for future residential development. Later, Ethos and Building Blocks will host resource fairs to inform and link community members to programs and services including a 0 Percent Interest Home Repair Loan program and the Detroit Land Bank Authority’s Side Lot Program.

The project is part of the city’s plan to strengthen neighborhoods and active nearby commercial corridors through strategic investment in developments like this. A larger planning study will begin in Banglatown early next year to coordinate with existing community groups and identify innovative yet realistic solutions that the city can implement. The goal is to replicate projects like the Transfiguration School renovation throughout the entire neighborhood.

The project will be funded by HOME funds, historic tax credits, and low income tax credits. Construction is expected to begin by Fall 2018 and completed in late 2019.

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