Develop Detroit Acquires First Two Properties

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Develop Detroit, a new Detroit-based nonprofit development firm, has acquired its first two properties, the Marwood Apartments in New Center and Midtown Square in Midtown.

“After months of planning and negotiation, we’re proud to announce these projects and see our mission come to life in the city’s neighborhoods,” says Sonya Mays, CEO of Develop Detroit. “We look forward to immersing ourselves in these communities and helping to create safe, healthy, affordable housing for all residents.”

Construction on the Marwood Apartments, located at 53 Marston St., is expected to begin next summer. The firm, which is partnering with Vanguard Community Development Corp. on the project, will renovate the development’s 53 existing apartments, as well as add 60 new units next door. The project will also feature rehabilitation of adjacent duplexes and provide blight removal. Existing residents have the option of staying in their current apartment or moving to a new one, and the rates of apartments will be adjusted to fit resident’s income.

The Midtown Square development, located at 93 Seward St., will be available for lower income Detroit residents. Develop Detroit, which says the property has struggled in recent years, is attempting to improve operations though a joint venture with John Stanley, a California-based real estate development company. Stabilization work to improve Midtown Square has already begun, and a full renovation of the property is being planned for the future.

As the projects progress, the firm will host a series of community events to initiate discussions between residents, area business owners, and neighborhood-based organizations on the new developments.

Develop Detroit, which launched in May 2016, is a social enterprise of the Boston-based Housing Partnership Network, which works nationally to build and preserve affordable housing options through partnerships with its member organizations. JP Morgan Chase, the Kresge Foundation, and the Ford Foundation have all donated to the nonprofit, with JP Morgan Chase investing $4 million over the next four years.

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