Three New Housing Projects Totaling $67M Coming to Detroit’s Corktown

Three new mixed-use developments have been announced in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood that are expected to generate a total capital investment of $67.2 million.
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Corktown building
The Red Arrow Redevelopment Project will rehabilitate an existing, historic two-story former industrial building into a 28-unit multifamily housing complex. // Rendering courtesy of Red Arrow Development

Three new mixed-use developments have been announced in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood that are expected to generate a total capital investment of $67.2 million.

The projects are within walking distance of Ford Motor’s Co.’s revitalization of the former Michigan Central Station at Michigan Avenue and 14th Street. Combined with neighboring buildings, the project is emerging as a mobility innovation campus.

The three residential developments include Left Field II, which plans to construct a new, four-story multifamily apartment building on vacant land near the left field area of the former Tiger Stadium site (north of the former stadium). When completed, the building will offer three stories of housing with 53 total units and parking on the first floor.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $16.3 million with the support of a $2.7 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program (MCRP) performance-based loan.

The building has been designed to complement The Corner, a 60-unit apartment and commercial building by Larson Realty Group that spans the outer edges of the stadium site, along with the recreation by the Detroit Police Athletic League, or PAL. on the actual ballpark into The Corner, a recreational and entertainment facility.

The city of Detroit anticipates the approval of a 15-year Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Tax Abatement valued at $2 million. The city has also provided land acquisition, applied for and received $980,000 in “Missing Middle” funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and approved a payment in lieu of taxes for the development of the adjacent parcel. The city of Detroit is engaged with MEDC’s RRC program.

“The Left Field development brings Detroit closer to the vision laid out in its Choice Neighborhoods grant program, to ensure Greater Corktown will remain home to residents of all incomes,” says Julie Schneider, director of the Detroit Housing and Revitalization Department.

“The project provides true mixed-income housing, from voucher units serving 30 percent AMI and below, all the way up to market rate, just steps from Michigan Avenue and Michigan Central Station. With the first phase nearing completion early next year, we are grateful for MEDC’s partnership in launching the second phase of this transformative development.”

Next up is The Preserve on Ash I, which plans to redevelop approximately 2.16 acres of vacant land in the North Corktown neighborhood into five two-story buildings consisting of 69 mixed-income housing units and commercial space. The income mix includes units with MSHDA project-based vouchers, units that are rent and income-restricted to 60 percent of Area Median Income, and market-rate units.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $37.9 million with the support of a $2.3 million MCRP performance-based loan. The project will create developments on formerly blighted land that will improve streetscapes and walkability for the residents and surrounding neighbors.

The city of Detroit is supporting the project with $1.5 million in American Recovery Plan Act funds, $2.7 million in U.S. Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhoods Implementation funds and $1.7 million in city Community Development Block Grant funds. The city also anticipates approving a four percent payment in Lieu of Taxes tax abatement in support of the project.

“Preserve on Ash I kicks off the City’s Choice Neighborhoods housing program in North Corktown, realizing the vision laid out in partnership with the community, by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable housing for residents of all incomes that fits the scale and existing fabric of the neighborhood,” says Schneider. “The CRP program is a critical piece of the local, state and federal partnership needed to bring the project to life.”

The third project is the Red Arrow Redevelopment Project, which will rehabilitate an existing, historic two-story former industrial building into a 28-unit multifamily housing complex. The project also includes public improvements including new sidewalks, landscaped areas, and adjoining street improvements.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $12.8 million with the support of a $2.2 million MCRP performance-based loan participation. In addition, the City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received MSF approval of state tax capture valued at $464,643 for the reimbursement of brownfield activities at the site.

The Red Arrow Redevelopment Project also is intended to provide additional housing for Ford’s Corktown Campus. The project will redevelop a long-vacant building, increase walkability in the neighborhood, and add foot traffic to local businesses. In addition, it is expected to serve as a catalyst for additional revitalization in the area.

“The Red Arrow Lofts Project is a model for true private public and community partnership,” says Seth Herkowitz, COO of Hunter Pasteur/Oxford Perennial Corktown. “Collective stakeholder input shaped the project vision and support from the MEDC created the financial framework necessary to repurpose the former Downtown Storage Building into 28 loft-style apartment units.”

Red Arrow will create significant community benefits, including revitalization, historic preservation, an increased tax base, job creation, enhanced walkability and pedestrian connectivity, and needed infrastructure improvements, Herkowitz adds.

The city of Detroit is expected to support the project through the local portion of the brownfield plan valued at $682,149 and the approval of a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone tax abatement valued at $3.7 million.

The projects are being financed with private money along with technical assistance and funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Michigan Strategic Fund.

“Today’s projects not only represent priority projects that reflect the voices of residents and goals of the city, but also support the historic investments made to create an innovative job center in Detroit and further boost the revitalization of our state’s largest city,” says Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the MEDC and president and chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund.