Historic Lofts Coming to Hubbard Farms Neighborhood in Detroit’s Mexicantown

An abandoned historic structure will be redeveloped in Detroit’s Hubbard Farms neighborhood in Mexicantown as part of the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund initiative.
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The Murray
The Murray will be transformed into 12 units of modern housing while keeping its historic façade. // Photo courtesy of the city of Detroit

An abandoned historic structure will be redeveloped in Detroit’s Hubbard Farms neighborhood in Mexicantown as part of the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund initiative.

The Murray – Hubbard Farms is located at 4004 Porter St. near Clark Park. It will undergo a total renovation to become 12 units of modern, efficient housing across 16,404 square feet.

Three of the units will be affordable housing at 60 percent of the average median income. The project will cost about $4.6 million and is slated for completion in the spring of next year.

The rowhomes were built in 1917, and residents of the neighborhood have identified the building as one of their top redevelopment priorities.

“We are already seeing incredible transformation in these neighborhoods, and that is only going to continue as our city continues to emerge from the COVID pandemic and we get back to work,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “I’d like to thank Emery Matthews and REI for helping to not only create more much-needed affordable housing but also for making Hubbard Farms an even more beautiful place to live.”

W. Emery Matthews is the developer as well as co-founder and managing principal of Real Estate Interests. He, Duggan, and other officials broke ground on the development today. The renovation will maintain the building’s historic character. Real Estate Solutions will work in conjunction with Southwest Housing Solutions on the project.

“This is not only a project of tremendous importance to the community, but also to me personally,” Matthews says. “I was born and raised in Detroit, and I understand the corrosive impact of vacant buildings. They exact an emotional toll and have a profound negative impact on our communities.

“For me, this is far more than just another real estate investment. It’s a way for the community to showcase its spirit and resilience. The Murray is going to positively impact so many lives for the better – not just of those who will live there, but of every single member of the community.”

The building’s façade will be restored to the original historic design, and interior historic details will be integrated whenever possible. The landscaping will be redesigned and offer patios, gardens, and a grilling area.

“The Murray project is a vital part of our strategic and collaborative effort to revitalize abandoned and blighted buildings in Hubbard Farms so that they become important community and residential assets,” says Tim Thorland, executive director of Southwest Housing Solutions. “Near The Murray, Southwest Solutions has renovated two formerly abandoned apartment buildings into quality affordable housing, created a well-utilized community garden, and converted a vacant lot into secure parking. These projects significantly advance the ongoing revitalization of the neighborhood and enhance the quality of life of its residents.”

The Detroit Neighborhoods Fund through Capital Impact Partners and the Strategic Neighborhood Fund through Invest Detroit are helping with financing. The fund and Affordable Housing Leverage Fund have raised $57 million in formal and verbal commitments to help revitalize 10 neighborhoods in each of Detroit’s seven city council districts through the creation of affordable housing, beautification of parks and streetscapes, and improvements to commercial corridors.

“A key component of the Strategic Neighborhood Fund is to support the careers of local black developers and increasing their capacity to support long-term, inclusive economic renewal in Detroit,” says Keona Cowan, senior vice president and chief lending officer for Invest Detroit. “We are proud to have Emery in our family of developers on this resident-supported project.”

Real Estate Interests specializes in commercial real estate, property management, asset management, consulting, and facility management and brokerage. It was founded by Matthews and Stan Edwards and has developed, acquired, and managed more than 33 million square feet of commercial real estate. Matthews has closed more than $1 billion in commercial real estate transactions.

“The Murray is Capital Impact’s first multi-family project in southwest Detroit, but it certainly will not be our last,” says Nicholas Pohl, business development officer for Capital Impact. “This has been an exciting project for us to partner on, as the development not only offers an affordability component, but will be led by a local developer of color. Through our programs such as the Equitable Development Initiative and the recently launched Diversity in Development – Detroit Loan Fund, we are committed to better ensuring real estate developers of color are able to participate in the city’s revitalization.

“This is absolutely critical in making sure the city and its partners are creating inclusive and equitable communities.”

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