Two Historic Apartment Buildings Renovated in Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers Neighborhood

East Jefferson Development Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Jefferson East Inc., has renovated and reopened two historic apartment buildings on Marlborough Street.
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Apartment building
The historic apartments at 910 Marlborough St. had been vacant for 40 years and now are renovated and reopened. // Photo courtesy of EJDevCo

East Jefferson Development Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Jefferson East Inc., has renovated and reopened two historic apartment buildings on Marlborough Street.

The project is part of the Strategic Neighborhood Fund Initiative, a partnership between the city of Detroit and Invest Detroit. The completion of one building at 910 Marlborough introduces additional affordable and market-rate housing in the historic Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood and brings new life to the long-vacant buildings, one of which has stood empty for some 40 years.

Located at 910 (South) and 1031 (North) Marlborough, the apartment buildings will feature 23 multi-family housing units, with 13 reserved at deeply affordable housing rates between 50 percent and 60 percent area median income.

The project was designed to offer Detroiters options, with floor plans offering one-, two-, and three-bedrooms. All units, which range in size from 656 to 931 square feet, offer modern kitchens and bathrooms and in-unit washers and dryers. Apartments are currently available for lease at Marlborough South, while Marlborough North is slated to open this October.

“We have heard from residents about the critical need for quality affordable housing,” says Joshua Elling, CEO of JEI and interim CEO of EJDevCo. “With the launch of Marlborough South, we are bringing online critical housing options and deeply affordable housing at a time when they are needed most.”

Situated in Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers Neighborhood, 910 Marlborough is steps from the historic commercial corridor and locally owned eateries such as Norma G’s and Yellow Light, a few blocks from the Detroit riverfront and A.B. Ford Park (which is getting a makeover), and a new community center as part of the Strategic Neighborhood Fund.

The redevelopment of the Marlborough buildings further preserves the historic character of the neighborhood while attracting new residents, providing new affordable housing options, and increasing economic activity in the community.

“This great project combines two of our highest city priorities — creating more affordable housing and replacing blight with beauty,” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “Here’s a building that has sat vacant for 40 years. Not only has it been beautifully renovated, it will bring deeply affordable housing to the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood as it continues to rise.”

Last month, Duggan and Councilmembers Mary Waters, Latisha Johnson, and Angela Calloway laid out a $203 million plan to create more affordable housing in the city and increase homeownership.

The historic Marlborough buildings were constructed in 1927, though were vacant for decades.

EJDevCo purchased the buildings in 2018 and has spent more than $7.1 million to bring them back to life, thanks to support from the City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department, Twain Financial, Enterprise Community Loan Fund, the Kresge Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. West Construction has served as the general contractor.

Other improvements coming to Jefferson Chalmers as part of the Strategic Neighborhood Fund include a new streetscape along East Jefferson and more support for the rehab of vacant commercial buildings and turning them into small businesses for residents.

The City of Detroit committed $2.5 million toward the redevelopment in federal HOME funding, as well as $1.4 million in Community Development Block Grant funds. Twain Financial contributed $819,000 through Historic Tax Credit equity, which is designed to encourage the preservation, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of historically significant buildings.

Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) committed more than $1.6 million in project financing through its Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Enterprise Community Loan Fund, one of the largest nonprofit CDFIs in the country.

“The redevelopment of the Marlborough buildings will bring critically needed affordable homes to Detroit,” says Melinda Clemons, vice president and Midwestern market leader at Enterprise Community Partners. “We are excited to partner with East Jefferson Development Corp., an organization with deep roots in Detroit and a unique understanding of community needs.”

Individuals interested in renting a unit should contact the leasing manager Suite Properties by calling 313-962-1800 and selecting option 3 or visiting www.rentwithsuite.com.

Projects spearheaded by EJDevCo and JEI include the rehab of a former Kresge store into JEI’s Neighborhood Resource Hub, Norma G’s, the Old Schwinn Bike Shop, and a future renovation of the historic Vanity Ballroom.

To learn more about the Marlborough Apartments or to lease a unit, visit unit, www.marlboroughdetroit.com.

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