Public-Private Partnership Breaks Ground on $36.3M Mixed-Income Development in Midtown Detroit

by Kristin Harlow

DETROIT — Developers Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) and Develop Detroit have broken ground on a $36.3 million mixed-income development in Midtown Detroit’s Sugar Hill Arts District. Slated for completion in late 2021, the project will occupy what is currently a vacant lot on the northwest corner of John R and Garfield streets. The development will include 68 apartment units, 11,900 square feet of retail space and 164 parking spaces.

Fourteen of the units will be set aside for residents who earn 30 to 60 percent of the area median income. The project site is located across from the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center. As such, many of the affordable units be dedicated to homeless veterans. Midtown Detroit Inc. plans to develop an outdoor green space adjacent to the building.

In addition to the affordable housing component, the project is significant because it is one of the last designed by Phil Freelon, a celebrated black architect who passed away last year. The project team includes general contractor Whiting-Turner and architects Perkins & Will and McIntosh Poris. VM3 Consulting Corp. is working to engage minority- and women-owned firms as well as Detroit-based workers.

Project funding comes from the City of Detroit, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., PNC Bank, Prudential Financial, the Home Depot Foundation and the Quicken Loans Community Fund.

The Sugar Hill Arts District was designated as a national and local historic district in 2002 based on its history of jazz and entertainment dating back to the 1940s.

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