Seven winners are announced in Detroit’s initiative to boost equitable redevelopment

The nonprofit community development financial institution, Capital Impact Partners, is headquartered here in Arlington, Virginia, where REVITALIZATION is based. They have disbursed over $2 billion to revitalize communities across the U.S. over the last three decades.

In the November 1, 2017 issue of REVITALIZATION, we announced that Capital Impact Partners had teamed with JPMorgan Chase & Co. on a $5 million equitable development (actually redevelopment) initiative in Detroit, Michigan.

Now, on May 3, 2018, Capital Impact Partners and JPMorgan Chase have announced the first cohort of participants for their Equitable Development Initiative. This two-year program will help ensure that minority real estate developers in Detroit are able to participate in the city’s revitalization in a way that reflects the city’s diversity.

Over the course of a two-year pilot, this initiative will provide participants with real estate training; technical assistance to support participants’ efforts to develop real estate in Detroit; and the potential for one-on-one mentorship and project financing.

After receiving over 130 applications and going through an intensive review process that incorporated expertise from both internal and external review boards, the final participants will follow two tracks. All participants will follow a training track developed in partnership with the National Development Council, which started in February 2018 and will run through the fall.

The training program focuses on the details of mixed-use and multifamily real estate development in Detroit, using case studies, group work and deep dive sessions to further participants’ expertise in this arena. Topics of focus include assembling a real estate development team, developing project pro formas, establishing site control, accessing financing, working with the City of Detroit, and choosing and working with a property manager. Just under 30 individuals are participating in the program.

Additionally, seven participants with multifamily/mixed-use projects that align with Capital Impact’s approach to supporting inclusive growth through mixed-income neighborhood development will receive one-on-one support throughout the program with an established local developer mentor, a real estate development finance expert, and one or more community-based organizations. Capital Impact will also work to match program participants who have qualifying projects with financing at competitive interest rates and favorable terms.

Those seven individuals include: Sauda Ahmad-Green; Ron Bartell; Chase Cantrell, Damion Ellis, James Feagin IV, Jeanine Hatcher and Alisha Moss.

As a mission-driven organization, we constantly strive to ensure our body of work creates a foundation of equity, inclusiveness and cooperation,Elizabeth Luther, Detroit program manager for Capital Impact Partners. “The Equitable Development Initiative is demonstrative of our commitment to supporting inclusive growth in Detroit neighborhoods through catalytic financing paired with programming, research, and policy interventions.”

Participants in the training track include: Keisha Bell; Audrey Childress; Asia Denson; Gregoire Eugene-Louis; Ezekiel Harris; Deba Harper; Antoine Hayes I; Sterling Howard; LeChell Hudson-Battiste; Herman Jenkins; Jelani Karamoko; Cecily King; Hayward Little; Katrina Lockhart; Laura Shi; Marcus Sims; Michael Steele; Sean Tidwell; Andre Watson; Robert Williams; Rebecca “Bucky” Willis; and Craig Yaldoo.

There are approximately 50,000 minority-owned small businesses in Detroit, making it the fourth largest city for minority entrepreneurship in the United States. As the city’s recovery continues, more real estate developers are needed for the rehabilitation and construction of housing, commercial and community space in Detroit’s neighborhoods. The Equitable Development Initiative is designed to kick-start the development of small- and mid-sized mixed-use, multifamily residential projects in the city’s mixed-use corridors and is aligned with Capital Impact’s mission to help people to build communities of opportunity.

This initiative will go a long way to help minority developers share in Detroit’s economic comeback while deepening the pool of talent available to help the city rebuild,” said Tosha Tabron, Vice President for Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co. “JPMorgan Chase invests in smart ideas like this to incentivize small business owners to grow their companies, create more employment opportunities for Detroiters and drive sustainable growth in neighborhoods.

As part of the firm’s $150 million investment in Detroit’s economic recovery – and a dedicated effort to support minority small business owners through initiatives like the recently expanded Entrepreneurs of Color Fund – JPMorgan Chase has committed $500,000 over two years to the Equitable Development Initiative.

Together with Capital Impact and JPMorgan Chase, several other organizations are critical to the introduction of the Equitable Development Initiative, including technical assistance providers, funders, financial institution partners, and City government.

Photo of vacant house awating redevelopment in Detroit by Storm Cunningham.

See Capital Impact Partners website.

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