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A publication of Great Lakes Capital Fund

Volume 20 | Issue 3 | 2013



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FEATURES starting with detroit............................................. 6 no easy way out................................................... 11 a bankruptcy faq.................................................. 16 with change comes opportunity...................... 20 developing the d................................................... 22 THE neighborhood of choice............................. 24 revitalizing palmer park........................................ 26 because it’s detroit............................................... 30


the landscape........................................................ 36 OPPORTUNITY DETROIT.............................................. 38 d:hive detroit......................................................... 42


DEPARTMENTS CEO’s Message.......................................................... 5 Reinventing Detroit advertiser index..................................................... 46



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CEO’s MESSAGE GOVERNING BOARD Wendell Johns, Chair Retired Michael J. Taylor, Secretary/Treasurer PNC Bank James S. Bernacki Comerica Bank Catherine A. Cawthon Fifth Third CDC Derrick K. Collins Chicago State University


William C. Perkins Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development, Inc. James W. Stretz George K. Baum & Company Donald F. Tucker Don Tucker Consulting Paul J. Weaver Retired

CORPORATE OFFICERS Mark S. McDaniel, President & CEO Christopher C. Cox, CFO James L. Logue III, COO Jennifer A. Everhart, Executive Vice President Rick Laber, Executive Vice President Kevin Crawley, Executive Vice President This magazine is published quarterly by the Great Lakes Capital Fund (GLCF) to provide readers with information on affordable housing and economic and community development resources. This publication is copyrighted. The reproduction of Avenues to Affordability is prohibited by law. For additional copies, comments, concerns or to be added to the mailing list, please contact the Great Lakes Capital Fund office at 517.482.8555 or visit Editorial and Advertising Mary McDaniel, CMP • Alternative Solutions, LLC 517.333.8217 • Graphic Design Melissa Travis • Ink Ideas Graphic Design, LLC 989.272.3101 • Lansing Office 1118 S. Washington Avenue Lansing, MI 48910 Phone 517.482.8555 Detroit Office 1906 25th Street Detroit, MI 48216 Phone 313.841.3751 Indianapolis Office 320 N. Meridian St., Suite 516 Indianapolis, IN 46204 Phone 317.423.8880 Madison Office 2 E. Mifflin Street, Suite 101 Madison, WI 53703 Phone 608.234.5291 Tinely Park Office 18450 Crossing Drive, Suite C Tinley Park, IL 60487

“Detroit” has come to mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people and they are all correct, the good and the bad. The severity of Detroit’s financial situation, history of racial conflict and overall distrust and instability within its government cannot be denied. What was once a bustling metropolis full of opportunity is now broken, and has been straining under the burdens and poor governing of its past for many years now. Detroit’s challenges are significant but not entirely unique, and if anything is going to improve we must join forces and take responsibility. This sense of responsibility and inspiration that has come from this City in recent years and months is astounding. From business leaders like Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans, to passionate residents like John George, the founder of Motor City Blight Busters and countless volunteers, we are seeing people from all backgrounds stepping up. The goal is to not just save their City, but to reinvent it and make it better than it ever was. Out of crisis comes opportunity and the chance to create something new, welcome diversity and think outside of the box. It is in times like these that innovative and passionate people come forward and great things are born. We are seeing the rebirth of this City all over; with new families settling all over, community-based organizations like People for Palmer Park working to preserve and beautify a historic Detroit park, entrepreneurs getting their ideas off the ground with help of programs through D:hive and TechTown and a bustling downtown with entertainment to satisfy anyone. Detroit is a City with a rich and valuable culture that needs to be celebrated and protected. This is the City that Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder called home, where Techno was born and the home to the second largest theatre district in the United States behind New York City. There’s a reason why the very first paved road in the world was in Detroit, Michigan and there’s a reason why innovators are flocking to this City once again. It is crucial to acknowledge both this City’s assets and weaknesses moving forward, especially during these uncertain times. We hope that you find this issue of Avenues to Affordability to be both educational and inspiring and that you walk away with a better understanding of Detroit’s history and the potential for its future. It is time to work together and move forward and Great Lakes Capital Fund is proud to do its part. We hope you will join us.




By Mary Molnar

John George, founder of Motor City Blight Busters giving me the tour

I was on my way to Detroit to meet John George, savior of a hurting world, starting with Detroit. Until that day, I had been to parties at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) visited the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) and danced at Dally in the Alley, but I had never spent time on my own getting to know Detroit as a community. My time spent in Detroit had been limited to my college years when I’d visit my cousin who was studying architecture at the University of Detroit Mercy. Every time, anxiety kicked in as soon as I approached the city limits, echoes of warnings that Detroit is dangerous; that one shouldn’t even get out of the car; that one shouldn’t talk to anyone; that one shouldn’t even go there.

But this time, I was venturing into Detroit to meet John George, founder of Motor City Blight Busters. My focus was to write about Blight Busters for this magazine – Blight Busters and the work they were accomplishing on behalf of a city, falling, but not yet fallen; a city John George is determined to redeem.




I arrived near my destination on Lahser Street unsure of what to expect and of how I’d even find John. He told me to meet him at Motor City Java House next to the Redford Theater. Approaching the theater, I saw “Motor City Blight Busters” in bold white letters across the back of a man’s black t-shirt. I walked up, hoping this was the man I was charged with meeting. “John George?” I asked. He pointed at me enthusiastically with a big smile on his face, “Mary!” And we were introduced. I went into Motor City Java House, ordered a cappuccino and introduced myself to John’s wife, Alicia, who owns the place. John was finishing a conversation outside. I was just noticing a photo of him and Alicia on their wedding day, displayed in a frame on the counter, when John walked in. We sat down at a table and talked briefly about the magazine. I explained that the goal of this issue of Avenues to Affordability is to educate our readers on the history and current financial situation in the City and to highlight positive happenings and the people contributing to Detroit’s revitalization. This grouping of people, I pointed out, included himself and Motor City Blight Busters. Soon, John was ushering me through the coffee shop and pointing out the hardwood floors that had been salvaged from one of the crack houses Blight Busters and its volunteers had demolished. Eventually, he showed me through a back door leading to

an open, roofless space. Here was room for summer art classes for kids in the community, part of the Artist Village program. Bright, colorful paintings by neighborhood children and resident artist, Chazz Miller covered the walls. Miller’s community mural initiative, Public Art Workz, was widespread and gaining traction. John explained that Miller’s trademark was the butterfly and I began seeing variations of it throughout the rest of our tour; it now serves in my mind as the unofficial tour guide and mascot of this neighborhood. This open space led to a garden with exposed beams, open to blue skies. It was lined with a blue picket fence and contained by the old walls of a building long gone, a shell which now created the perfect home for new growth. Coffee grounds from Java House fertilize the produce grown here. Bright yellow benches built with materials from demolished homes sat along the wall. Nothing was taken for granted here and everything had a purpose. Another roofless shell adjoined the garden, this one serving as a warehouse for donated materials. Beyond that was another space, with its roof still intact, an elevated stage and podium, rows of chairs, couches, sound system and spotlights, fashioning a place for a community to gather for everything from worship to concerts and open mic nights. Next, John led the way onto the street and toward the com-

The University of Detroit Stadium hosted the first broadcasted Thanksgiving Day football game in 1934, sparking a new tradition.

PICTURED: Community garden TOP RIGHT: “Old Detroit” MIDDLE RIGHT: “New Detroit” BOTTOM RIGHT: Bench made with recycled materials from a home Blight Busters demolished

munity garden, greeting everyone we passed with shouts of “Good morning! How are you?” When asked how he was in return, he responded, “It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining and I’m happy to be alive!” When one neighbor responded with a heavy sigh, John immediately asked what he could do to help. The community garden sat in the middle of an open once occupied by abandoned buildings. These buildings served as havens for drug use, drug dealing and other dangerous activity. Seeing it now, it was impossible to imagine its sordid past. On this day, it was filled with colorfully painted raised beds overflowing with leafy greens and other vegetables. Children’s well-used play things were strewn along the path. And a fig tree was pointed out by John with great pride. In the lot outside the garden, one side sported lush green grass, newly planted trees in rows and a wall covered in colorful floral images, like all the walls I had seen previously. On the other side of the garden was an empty space of dirt and mulch and an abandoned house still left standing. “This is what this entire space used to look like. This is the old Detroit,” John said, waving his hand toward the empty brown space and rotting skeleton of a home. Then, pointing toward the green space full of new life he told me, “This is the new Detroit.” Picking up trash on the street as we walked along, John led me next to a former Masonic Temple that he purchased for $1 fifteen years ago. The three-story building, now the Old Redford Resource Center, serves as headquarters for Motor City Blight Busters and provides office space to TechTown Detroit, Michigan State University Extension Services and Changing Lives and Staying Sober (C.L.A.S.S.). Here, the North-West community can attend support groups and educational classes for drug and alcohol addiction through C.L.A.S.S. and entrepreneurs and local businesses have a valuable resource through TechTown. Our tour came to a close and we parted ways. I decided to hang out before returning to Lansing, and sat at a table outside the Motor City Java House. At first, I felt nervous sitting alone outside in an unfamiliar area, but the longer I sat there, the more at ease I felt. Passersby waved and smiled and I waved and smiled back. John George has helped create an entire community here and I was grateful to have been welcomed into it. Across the street I saw Sweet Potato Sensations, a bakery that specializes in everything sweet potato. As a girl born and raised in Georgia with a special place in my heart for sweet potato fries, there was no way I could pass this up before heading home. I began talking with a Sweet Potato Sensations employee and bornand-raised Detroiter. She started telling about when she saw The Lion King at the Masonic Temple and Little Shop of Horrors at Fox Theater, and how one of her favorite spots to go in Detroit is the Riverwalk where she can sit and relax and enjoy the view. When I asked her what her favorite thing about her hometown AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY



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is she replied, “The neighborhood. We’re very colorful,” she laughed, “and very friendly. People don’t realize how friendly people are here, even when things aren’t going well.” And after having only spent a couple of hours in the City that day, I knew exactly what she was talking about. For the first time that day I saw Detroit as a neighborhood and community, and not just a headline in the newspaper or a place you visit for a couple hours and turn right back around. I saw for the first time that this was a place where you could sit down with a cup of coffee by yourself and by the end of the day have made new friends. If you look for abandoned buildings, you’ll find plenty of them. If you look for crime, you’ll see it. If you look for disrepair, vacant storefronts and frustrated residents, then that’s what you’ll discover. But if you look for art, community gardens, neighbors helping one another and entrepreneurs of all ages living their’ll find it everywhere you go, thanks to people like John George and the people who have never stopped believing that the phoenix will rise from the ashes. For more information about some of the organizations and businesses mentioned in this article: • Motor City Blight Busters • Public art Workz • - C.L.A.S.S • Old Redford Resource Center • TechTown Detroit • Sweet Potato Sensations EDITOR’S NOTE: Mary Molnar has been an intern with GLCF. She recently became my assistant. To enhance her knowledge as an intern, I assigned her to the coordination of this publication. She did the research, secured the authors and coordinated the flow of this issue. This was quite an undertaking for her and I’m pleased

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with the final product. Enjoy learning about the “real” Detroit. – Mary McDaniel, CMP, Editor



NO EASY WAY OUT Detroit’s Financial and Governance Crisis

by Gary Sands, Wayne State University and Laura A. Reese, Michigan State University


etroit is widely regarded as the poster child of urban decline that is the result of an array of economic and social factors including globalization, de-industrialization, economic and racial segregation. In part, Detroit’s current difficulties result from a crisis of confidence in the city as a desirable place to live, work and invest. Economic decline and population loss are only part of the story. Racial tensions have left an indelible mark on the city and the region of which it is a part. Issues related to race have intertwined with longterm economic distress, leaving the city in a position that makes prospects for recovery extremely difficult. The parallel tracks of recession and race have both exacerbated

and been exacerbated by Detroit’s political and governing culture. Growth and Loss The history of Detroit in the 20th Century is comprised of three decades of rapid growth, followed by decades of decline (Figure 1). Detroit’s spectacular growth at the beginning of the 20th Century has had important consequences. Population increases were matched by public and private construction that vastly expanded the physical city: housing, industrial and commercial buildings, as well as public buildings, streets, water and sewer lines. Today, much of Detroit’s built environment is now 80 to 110 years old. The growth of the auto industry was

Figure 1 Detroit Population Trends, 1890-2010

largely responsible for this rapid expansion. Auto manufacturing jobs generated relative prosperity and wage levels that allowed many of the workers to own homes and purchase the automobiles that they built. Detroit’s built environment was dominated by one and two family homes, typically on small lots. The widespread availability of private automobiles diminished the importance of the public transit system in the city. By the 1950s, streetcar and interurban lines disappeared, leaving only a dwindling number of public bus routes. Another publicly provided service that arguably has been undervalued in the Motor City is public education. With well-paying jobs available in the auto plants, even for those with minimal educational achievement levels, there was less incentive to value and invest in education. The oil embargo of the early 1970s and its consequences for the domestic auto industry further accelerated the city’s decline. The number of jobs in the city fell by over half between 1970 and 2010, and the number of city residents in employment dropped by 43.5 percent over the same period. Unemployment has been in double digits during most of this period, kept in check only by the shrinking of the labor force. Residents with limited education and skills found it increasingly difficult to qualify for the dwindling number of jobs that were available. Population losses, often to nearby suburbs, and declining incomes took a toll on the city’s housing market. Residen-

Source: US Bureau of the Census




tial vacancies increased, as did mortgage and property tax foreclosures. The growing supply of available housing (much of which was built in the 1910-30 period), found few buyers in the face of shrinking demand. Large areas on Detroit’s east and northwest sides became derelict and abandoned (Galster and Raleigh, 2012). Detroit’s foreclosure crisis can be attributed more to the decline in employment than to property speculation. The Great Recession of 2008-09 added to these problems, in part by making housing opportunities in suburban areas more affordable. Race Detroit has experienced significant changes in its demographic composition in the 20th Century. In the automobile industry’s early growth years, an ever increasing demand for labor was partly met by immigrants from abroad. In both 1920 and 1930, the US Census reported that over one-third of Detroiters were foreign born. During the Second World War, the labor needs of the defense industries were met by migrants, this time by blacks and

whites from the American South. By 1980, the city’s foreign born population had fallen below ten percent while African-Americans made up 76 percent of the total. The rapid growth of Detroit’s AfricanAmerican population during the 1940s and 1950s occurred at a time when the city’s white population also continued to grow (Figure 2). Detroit’s white population peaked in 1950, declining by more than a million by 1980. The African-American population of Detroit, however, continued to grow, reaching a plateau of just under 800,000 in 1980. Since 2000, the number of black residents leaving Detroit has also increased. The expansion of Detroit’s AfricanAmerican population led to competition and conflict with the majority white population, particularly over housing (Sugrue, 1996). Attempts to integrate the growing black population into white neighborhoods led to protests in 1925 and 1942. A major race riot in 1943 reflected increasing competition for housing and jobs between newly arrived African-Americans, white migrants from the South and ethnic whites.

Figure 2 City of Detroit Racial Trends, 1920-2010

The disturbance, which was eventually quelled by federal troops after three days, left 34 dead and was America’s deadliest civil disturbance to date (Sugrue, 1996). Detroit suffered another major racial conflict in 1967, which lasted for five days, resulted in 43 deaths and once again required the intervention of federal troops. As in 1943, a variety of factors contributed to the violence: brutality against blacks by the largely white Detroit police force was a prominent motivation. The riot expanded white flight that had begun well before the 1967 riot/civil disturbance (Sugrue, 1996). The Cost of Borrowing Since the 1970s, there have been no major development projects in Detroit that have not benefited from some form of public subsidy (Hodge et al., 2013). The unsurprising result has been a collapse of Detroit’s municipal finances. The city introduced new taxes: a utility use tax in 1962, a municipal income tax in 1964 and a casino wagering tax in 1999. The additional revenue, however, have proven inadequate to meet the rising costs of city personnel and benefits. The City government has suffered a budget deficit in nine of the past eleven fiscal years. The cumulative deficit over this period is $800 million, much of which has been covered by long-term borrowing. Estimates of the City’s outstanding financial obligations are in the range of $18$20 billion. This is equivalent to an average debt of about $28,500 for each Detroit resident, in a city where the per capital annual income is just over $15,000. Over the past few decades, the response to these challenges by Detroit’s civic leadership has been ineffective. In a city plagued by internal conflict and controversy, what are in reality long-term chronic fiscal challenges have been treated as short-term problems. When budget deficits are seen as temporary, officials can justify continued spending levels (or even increases). Underfunding retiree pensions and other benefits is a similarly unwise expedient. Funding

Source: US Bureau of the Census



cash flow deficits with long-term borrowing is not a rational long term policy. It has been observed that Detroit has been funding budget deficits with bonded debt since the Young administration, more than 30 years ago. Because Detroit’s chronic fiscal challenges are the result of deep structural changes in the regional economy, these misguided policies haves pushed the City into bankruptcy. Debt and long-term liabilities have accumulated such that city government is now in a deep crisis. Detroit’s fiscal deterioration has played out over the six decades during which specific events and policy decisions have precipitated the decline. There is also an ongoing tale of poor municipal governance embedded throughout this tragic story. The political and civic culture of Detroit and its metropolitan region bear a great deal of responsibility for failing to lead the city out of the ongoing chronic economic challenges as well as its current crisis. Regimes and Detroit The economic dislocations and history of racial segregation and distrust have had an enduring impact on the governance of the City of Detroit. Detroit’s long history of economic distress, racial discrimination and segregation, has prevented the formation of a stable governing regime. Instead, policymaking and implementation has fractionalized into a number of temporary issue networks. A long-standing culture of distrust, both internally and externally, has worked against regime formation contributing to the city’s inability to address chronic challenges associated with longterm structural economic decline. Detroit’s problems are extreme, but they are not unique. Elements of this tale of deindustrialization, depopulation and (perhaps imminent) fiscal collapse are shared by many American communities. Cities from Boston to St. Louis have seen their traditional industrial base disappear. Many of the Rust Belt cities have experienced significant population losses. Riots and civil AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY

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disturbances occurred in more than 30 American cities in the 1960s. The Hurricane Katrina-devastated neighborhoods in New Orleans rival the abandoned ones in Detroit. Detroit is the largest, but not the only city to have filed for bankruptcy. In the past, cities such as New York (1975) have faced similar deep fiscal challenges; yet city leaders there were able to respond effectively to the circumstances and New York emerged from the crisis on solid footing. Yet, over the past five years, Detroit’s efforts to retrench and restructure have seemingly been to no avail. Will Detroit be able to recover from its current plight? Strong local government leadership was important, perhaps critical, in the city’s economic recovery from both the Panic of 1893 and the Great Depression. But the real basis of lasting economic recovery from these earlier events has not been innovative local programs but rather the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs. There seems to be little reason to believe that this post-recession period will be any different. The Great Recession of 2008-10 differs from these earlier episodes in several other respects. For Detroit, it did not represent an abrupt reversal of economic fortunes, as was the case in 1893 and 1933. In 2008 Detroit was already at the end of decades of economic and demographic decline. The Great Recession made matters worse for a city that had few resources left. While the national recovery from this economic disaster has been slow and uneven, it has been most robust in cities that entered the downturn with relatively healthy economies (Brookings, 2013a). If Detroit could be brought back to 2007 economic conditions, the city would be struggling at, or near, the bottom of the economic ladder of most indicators. A second key difference between the historic recoveries and today is the significant changes in the racial composition of the city and its metropolitan area. In the 1893 and 1993 economic crises, Detroit’s population was larger than that of the 14

metropolitan area. In 1930, Detroit was predominantly (90 percent) white, while the suburban population was 95 percent white. By 1970, Detroit contained about 38 percent of the total population and more than 87 percent of African-Americans. Since then, suburbanization of both blacks and whites has increased so that, in 2010, Detroit included just over 18 percent of the total metro area population but 60 percent of the area’s African-Americans. These demographic shifts have placed Detroit at a considerable disadvantage, both economically and politically (Orfield, 1999; Sauerzopf, 1999). Many suburbanites consider dealing with Detroit’s problems to be Detroit’s problem. Whether motivated by racism, parochial concerns (suburban communities have also lost jobs and tax base), the general dislike for taxes and government programs, or simply recognition that Detroit is no longer as important a part of the metro area or the state, there is wide-spread indifference to Detroit’s current plight. A third important factor is the decade’s long pattern of sprawling development. Not just population but employment has moved further from the city. A recent study by Brookings Institute (2013b) found that more than three-quarters of Detroit area jobs were located ten or more miles from the city center, one of the highest incidences of job sprawl among the 100 largest metro areas. Moreover, almost half of the remote jobs are concentrated in high density clusters, providing an alternative to the Detroit CBD (Brookings, 2013b). For many suburbanites, Detroit has become irrelevant to their daily lives. The comparison made earlier to New Orleans is pertinent here. Burns and Thomas note that New Orleans is a “non-regime city:” “The lack of a regime, which predates the Katrina crisis, explains many failures that surround governmental reaction to this hurricane” (2006: 517). If one were to substitute “Detroit” for New Orleans” and “financial” for “Katrina” the statement would be just as true. The policy networks

that have developed in Detroit are not sufficiently stable or resourced to counteract the internal and external distrust which is a part of Detroit’s civic culture. During the entire period of decline, whether the mayor was of Caucasian or African American decent, the long history of racial distrust, segregation, and discrimination has shaped a culture where the cooperation necessary for regimes to operate has been lacking. The potential for Detroit to emerge from near collapse ultimately rests on the region’s ability to transcend the racial distrust so the players can come together to form a regime sufficiently strong so as to develop effective strategies, implement necessary reforms, and remove the barriers to redevelopment. Post-Bankruptcy Detroit Will bankruptcy bring a recovery to Detroit? This seems unlikely. Municipal bankruptcy is, first and foremost, about determining who will be repaid and how much they will receive. With total obligations in the neighborhood of $20 billion and tens of thousands of creditors and pensioners, it is impossible to predict the final outcome with certainty. Some of the City’s debts will be restructured (repaid over a longer term at a lower interest rate), some (perhaps retiree health care costs) will be shifted to others and some will simply be defaulted. The bankruptcy settlement will impact future municipal operations, setting the parameters of available resources. A number of public services may be eliminated; others privatized or subjected to new or higher user fees. Some services may be shifted to other public agencies. Regionalization may be an option for some services but there is only limited precedent for this in metropolitan Detroit. Restructuring the City of Detroit’s operations may provide a new definition of essential public services. In time, bankruptcy may help to create some measure of investor confidence in the City. It will not, however, address the fundamental realities faced by a city that has few jobs and a work force that is often lackGREAT LAKES CAPITAL FUND

ing in basic skills, let alone the ones necessary to succeed in the new economy. Even if new firms can be attracted to the city by cheap land and other incentives, they may provide limited direct benefits to Detroit residents. Bringing new jobs to Detroit is not the same as bringing new jobs to Detroiters. It is expected that it will be at least two years, perhaps longer, before Detroit emerges from bankruptcy. Will Detroit, as it goes forward, find a benign path to recovery, one that offers lessons for other aging Rust Belt cities? Or will the prevailing culture of racism/mistrust/antipathy that exists in Southeast Michigan trump the efforts to address the financial and political issues? However Detroit’s future plays out over the next decade, there is no assurance that the city that emerges will be better off than today. But it will most certainly be different.

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Chapter 9 and verse

A bankruptcy FAQ If you’re a contractor with the city, what can you expect? Will you get paid? How should you conduct your business? In Chapter 9, municipalities have the power to assume or reject contracts or leases. If a contract is rejected, it is treated as a pre-bankruptcy branch of contract, and gives rise to an unsecured claim. Last week, Emergency Manager Kevin Orr said ongoing contractor payments will be made on time or perhaps ahead of schedule during the bankruptcy process. The city plans to set up a hotline for contractors to call. But experts say there are increased risks of doing business with a city in bankruptcy. Agreements that ensure payment, like prepayment or cash-on-delivery work, are recommended. Some vendors could find themselves in a high-speed workout process with the city as it works to shed debt. If the city doesn’t keep up with payments, creditors will evaluate whether or not they would be required to continue to provide services under those circumstances.

1701 Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac establishes a settlement at Detroit.



Detroit is the center of the Great Lakes fur trade. Native Americans exchange pelts and furs for European goods like guns, cooking utensils, cloth and jewelry.

What is now known as “The Great Fire of 1805” almost completely destroys the city.

For contractors with a unionized workforce, cities in bankruptcies are permitted, subject to an order of court, to reject collective bargaining agreements. Is there any change in how people or businesses pay taxes? There is no change in tax collection, either property or income tax. What happens next? Already there is a flurry of lawsuits to block the bankruptcy, but experts mostly consider those to be moot. The procedural details in a complicated bankruptcy are the next steps. Filed last week with the petition were creditor lists and thousands of supporting documents for Detroit’s Chapter 9 case. Alice Batchelder, chief judge of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, appointed U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes as the judge for the case late Friday; Rhodes must approve the petition.

1825 Detroit elects its first mayor, John R. Williams. The Erie Canal is completed. It connects Lake Erie with the Hudson River near Albany, New York, making transportation of people and goods across New York State easier, faster and less expensive. The first wave of German immigration to Detroit begins.



Detroit adopts its city seal and motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus. It means, “We hope for better days; it shall rise from the ashes.” It commemorates the Fire of 1805.


Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech for the first time in Detroit, two months before he delivered it to over 250,000 civil rights supporters at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

On practical matters, city services will continue as usual and city employees will be paid, Orr said last week. Then comes the line-by-line renegotiation of debt and the city’s finances via a reorganization plan. Orr said the goal is for the city to emerge from Chapter 9 in late summer or early fall of 2014. What “tests” does Orr have to meet for a Chapter 9 to proceed? What other approvals are needed? There are five formal tests. The first four: the city has to be a municipality; it has to meet state law requirements for filing; it has to be insolvent; and it has to want to file a plan to adjust its debts. The fifth test requires municipalities to show that they have the agreement of creditors or that they have a good reason for not having it. In a letter to Gov. Rick Snyder and state Treasurer Andy Dillon asking permission to file Chapter 9, Orr argues that he has regained good faith with creditors willing to meet and that there are impediments to bargaining with others outside of bankruptcy



Irish immigration to Detroit begins. They settle west of Woodward Avenue in a neighborhood they call Corktown.

Detroit’s first race riot occurs after Detroit’s black citizens help the Blackburns, a fugitive slave couple, escape to Canada. This event starts the anti-slavery movement in Detroit.



Michigan’s first black congregation, Detroit’s Second Baptist Church, was established. The church would become a vital station on the Underground Railroad and would house an estimated 5,000 fugitives over the next 30 years.

court. Creditors opposed to the filing will likely argue that Orr’s efforts don’t meet the “good faith” standard. Assuming the case proceeds, the reorganization plan itself must comply with the provisions of Chapter 9. Among those are obtaining any regulatory or electoral approval necessary to carry out any provision of the plan. An example would be sale or transfer assets. All fees paid in the case to consultants and legal teams must be disclosed and deemed “reasonable.” How does the city even begin to work through a bankruptcy case involving 100,000 creditors? That’s what the legions of attorneys and consultants are for. Doug Bernstein, managing partner of Plunkett Cooney PC’s banking, bankruptcy and creditor’s rights practice group in Bloomfield Hills, said private firms are often used in large bankruptcies to mail out notices to creditors or to set up websites for the bankruptcy. “It may be unique in Detroit, but it’s certainly not unique in New York or Delaware, “Bernstein said.

1837 Michigan becomes the 26th state of the United States of America. Detroit is its first capital. Detroit AntiSlavery Society is created. It plays a big role in Detroit’s Underground Railroad operations.

1840 William Lambert helps to operate Detroit’s Underground Railroad with Sr. Joseph Ferguson, William Web and other abolitionists. Over 45,000 slaves pass through Detroit on the way to freedom in Canada over a thirty year period.


Detroit was the first city in the United States to assign individual telephone numbers.


Will Detroit need debtor-in-possession financing? In most large Chapter 11 bankruptcies, companies are able to fund ongoing operation through debtor-in-possession financing. Lenders are willing to make what are known as DIP loans because they are considered senior liens on the debtor’s assets. “But cities don’t liquidate, they operate,” said Matthew Wilkins, a partner who specializes in bankruptcy in the Birmingham firm of Brooks Wilkins Sharkey & Turco PLLC. DIP financing is generally unavailable in Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcies, though there is some leeway for judges to approve senior-debt financings after proceedings start. What about selling bonds? Counter-intuitively, Wilkins said, “the bankruptcy filing may actually make it easier for Detroit to raise money through bond sales.” How? Wilkins said most current debt will be wiped off the books at a very steep discount of pennies on the dollar. “the question is: Will there be a market then for bonds issued by the city of Detroit?” he said. “New creditors will have priority over old creditors, and with most of that debt off the books, the people who buy bonds might be willing to buy them.”


1850 Shipping becomes Detroit’s biggest industry.

What ripple effect does the bankruptcy have on other Michigan municipalities and on the state? On Wall Street, the bankruptcy could have consequences for the ability of other municipalities in Michigan, and the state itself, to negotiate favorable borrowing rates for general obligation bonds. More will be known on the potential fallout as credit rating agencies file reports and analysts weigh in. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel are planning a trip to New York City to work to defend their counties’ AAA ratings. Can Detroit expect aid from the state? Amber McCann, press secretary for Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardsville, R-Monroe, said there has not been any discussion about sending state financial assistance to Detroit as it moves through bankruptcy because the filing came sooner than anticipated. McCann said when the full Senate returns to Lansing in late August following the summer break, Detroit’s bankruptcy will surely be a major topic of discussion. Sources: Crain’s research, Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss PC




Italian and Polish immigrants begin to arrive in Detroit.

Detroit’s population is 79,577. Almost half the population was born in a different country.

The Detroit Opera House opens on Campus Martius. The ground floor is the location of the first J.L. Hudson’s store.

1877 Detroit College (now the University of Detroit-Mercy) is founded by Jesuit priests.

The state capital moves from Detroit to Lansing.




Detroit purchases Belle Isle, a 985 acre island on the Detroit River, from the Campau family for $200,000. It becomes a public park.


1880 Detroit’s population is 116,342. It is a multicultural city, with over 40 nationalities represented.


1896 The Detroit Institute of Arts opens as the Detroit Museum of Art on Jefferson Avenue.


The last horsedrawn street cars are replaced by electric trolleys.

Ransom E. Olds opens Detroit’s first automobile manufacturing plant on East Jefferson near Belle Isle.






ecently, the question I am asked most often is: “How does Detroit’s bankruptcy affect your business?” My abbreviated reply is also an ambiguous one: “It does and it doesn’t.” To unpack this answer, it’s helpful to examine five specific aspects of our business. 1. Day-to-day operations at Southwest Housing Solutions are not affected by the City’s bankruptcy. We work with the playbook we’ve been given. It’s often said that it’s difficult to do business in Detroit. However, the reality is more complicated. Some things are easy, some things are hard. This was true before bankruptcy and it’s still true now. Long term, we expect that things will be less complicated. 2. The bankruptcy process is not only an opportunity to reestablish the City’s financial viability; it is also an opportunity for

1900 Detroit population: 285,704. Nearly 12% don’t speak English, the highest in the U.S. world’s largest manufacturer of heating and cooking stoves. Other big industries include ship building, cigars and tobacco, pharmaceuticals, beer, rail cars, and foundry and machine shop products. 20


Henry Ford introduces the Model T. It was the first massproduced car that was generally affordable.

the City to streamline a host of operational functions, and this may better facilitate our ability to do business. Nonetheless, success for our company and neighborhood has always required perseverance and tenacity – and this won’t change. 3. Demand for our work or services continue to increase. This is due in part to reduced capacity in the community development industry as a whole; and in part to a renewed focus on place-based revitalization strategies that community organizations, like Southwest Housing Solutions, help to marshal resources for the neighborhood. These trends do not stem from the bankruptcy filing, but they are related to financial practices and circumstances that brought us to the point of bankruptcy. Obviously, 2008-2011 were economically stressful years. Not just to Detroit, but almost every-

1917 July - The first wave of “The Great Migration” of African Americans from the rural south to the northern industrial cities is in full swing: African Americans arrive in Detroit at the rate of one thousand per month throughout the rest of the summer.


The Michigan legislature enacts the “Burns Act” prohibiting “public gatherings of masked men.” The law is carefully drafted to apply almost exclusively to Ku Klux Klan activity.

1926 Mayor John Smith forms the Mayor’s Interracial Commission in response to a number of violent racial clashes throughout 1925.


where. The impact on Detroit was exacerbated by its position entering those tough times. Now, Southwest Housing Solutions is trying to make up for four lost years while, at the same time, positioning ourselves and our neighborhood to be at the forefront of positive change. Our ability, as well as similar organizations, to meet these demands requires increased agility, creativity and risk tolerance. We have to be quick on our feet. 4. Changes in the City’s service delivery systems will lead to greater efficiency for our company and improved quality of life for residents. Overall, change is still likely to move slowly, yet some change is being made every day. Organizationally, our responsibility is to remain nimble and in-touch in order to benefit from every opportunity. Our ability to be an effective resource in our community is directly tied to our ability to be a successful business. Our ability to be a successful business requires use to help shape our community. We have to be willing and able to engage others and be engaged by others. Change may be as basic as ensuring streetlights are working. Or it may be as complex as reassessing all property and establishing equitable and reasonable property tax rates. Change will affect us and change will be effected by us.


With the stock market crash, “The Great Depression,” the worst economic climate of the 20th century, begins. Detroit, now firmly an automotive industry town, is particularly hard hit.




Detroit Population: Total: 993,578, African American: 120,000 (7.6%)

Michigan Equal Accommodations Act passed into law.

5. The extensive conversation about Detroit’s bankruptcy means that it may eventually benefit from further resources. As the City’s financial situation stabilizes, these additional State, Federal and philanthropic resources offer hope for neighborhoods and an opportunity for our business. To ensure that this investment truly enhances the quality of life in our community, a new level of creativity, concession and cooperation among all players is necessary. Still, and sadly, how these resources should be deployed will likely be a source of controversy, and building consensus could be difficult. Thankfully, residents and stakeholders put a good deal of effort into creating the Detroit Future City plan – a strategic framework document that we can employ to help guide our resource advocacy. Love it or hate it [bankruptcy], something had to change. With change comes opportunity. With opportunity comes responsibility. The salient question isn’t really “How does Detroit’s bankruptcy affect your business?” but rather, “How can your business affect the outcome of Detroit’s bankruptcy?” The result will be our result. Tim Thorland is the Executive Director at Southwest Housing Solutions. He can be reached at


December 11: Detroit factories will shift from automobile production to war materials, earning the city the moniker: “the Arsenal of Democracy.”

1943 June 20: The bloodiest race riot in Detroit to date explodes from an incident on Belle Isle. Thirty-four people are killed, 25 African-Americans, (17 of whom are killed by the police) and 9 whites. Hundreds of people, mostly African-Americans, were injured.




AN Interview with Kathy Makino-Leipsitz, founder of Shelborne Development Why Detroit? I am not sure why but I have always loved Detroit. I bought my first building in Detroit in 1983 when I was 23 years old. I love the City and I really love the people in Detroit. I have always told my kids that no matter where I go in the United States or the World it always feels so good to come home... There is nothing like the feeling in the ‘D’. How do you decide which neighborhoods to develop? Definitely the architecture plays a role...I think some of the streets or areas that we have concentrated on like Seward Street, The Palmer Park area and the East Jefferson Corridor are some of the most beautiful areas of the City. Once they are redeveloped they will bring back a neighborhood that is equally as beautiful architecturally and as cosmopolitan as a block in Boston, New York or Washington DC. We also like the fringe neighborhoods - the ones that are just outside of areas that have a tremendous amount



of concentration by other developers, such as Midtown... those areas have had an amazing rebirth so I like to focus on the outlying neighborhoods to those areas. Hopefully 10 years from now New Center, Palmer Park and the East Jefferson corridor will be the next Midtown! Have there been any specific challenges you have faced because of choosing Detroit? The only challenges we have faced by choosing to develop in Detroit have come from investors, lenders, etc. We usually have to convince them that Detroit is a strong, good place for them to invest in. Working with the City itself has for the most part been terrific. It is nice to work in a community that wants to work together to make things better. I have found most of the people at the City and in the City want to help however they can to redevelop their neighborhoods and provide quality affordable housing. What is something you would like to say to someone considering developing in Detroit? I had t-shirts made for my friends, employees and family that say “Be a Part of the Change You Want to See in Detroit” I would


Detroit’s population peaks at about two million.

Berry Gordy founds Motown Records. With artists like the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and the Jackson 5, Motown has 120 singles hit the Top 20 in the 1960s, and changes the direction of popular music.


July 23-28: The Twelfth Street riot, one of the biggest in U.S. history, pits innercity black residents against police, then National Guard troops sent in by Gov. George Romney and Army soldiers deployed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. In five days of rioting, 43 people are killed, 467 injured, and more than 7,200 arrested. Some 2,000 buildings are destroyed. GREAT LAKES CAPITAL FUND

say come to Detroit and be a part of the is a very exciting and rewarding City to do business in. Is there any one thing in particular that has surprised you since starting your work in Detroit? I think that one of the nice surprises is how happy people are when they see what you are doing and how supportive the community as a whole is. The residents, the business community, city officials and city employees all want to see good things happen.... It’s nice to know that people like what you are doing and are helpful when you run into stumbling blocks. Have you seen any changes over the years in what people want as far as housing? Absolutely...I think today’s tenants are looking for safe, secure, energy efficient apartments. We know that people today have a tremendous amount of choices including sometimes purchasing a home with an equal payment as what rent would be. We want to create an apartment community with large units, walk in closets, granite kitchen and bath countertops, stainless steel appliances, hard wood floors, central air conditioning and if possible we love to have washers and dryers in each unit. This gives our residents most of the amenities of owning a home without having to maintain it. We are in the planning phase of a new concept for an apartment community near the riverfront geared toward singles and couples with smaller, hip, high end units creating a social environment with a roof top pool and theater and common gathering areas with happy hour atmospheres. We would love to make a place for




PICTURED: Renovated lobby AND EXTERIOR of Seville Apartments in Palmer Park OPPOSITE: Kathy Makino-Leipsitz and Mark Leipsitz, founders of Shelborne Development

people to live that years from now they will remember as having some of the best times of their life when they lived in Detroit! What has been the most rewarding experience for you? I think that when you finish a project and someone comes up and thanks you or gives you a hug for giving them a beautiful place to live... there is nothing better than that. What is your ultimate dream for Detroit? That Detroit continues its rebirth...That we concentrate on public safety, rebuilding our neighborhoods, that we grow our business community to provide jobs for Detroit’s residents, that young people move to the City, that we strengthen our middle class and schools and we show the world that Detroit is an amazing City to Live, Work and Play! Kathy is a board member of the Michigan Housing Council, The Jefferson East Business Association, Recovery Park, and Clinton House Supportive Housing. For more information about Kathy and the work of Shelborne Development please visit


Detroit’s population is 701,475

Detroit elects Coleman Young as its first black mayor. He serves until 1993.

Resources Consulted: The Week http:// Detroit Historical Society http://detroithistorical. org/learn/timelinedetroit

Chrysler and GM declare bankruptcy.

Detroit African-American History Project http:// www.daahp.wayne. edu/1900_1949.html

Kevyn Orr, a restructuring specialist appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder as Detroit emergency manager, takes office. July 18: Detroit files for bankruptcy, marking the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in history. Nov. 12: Belle Isle becomes a state park.





hile Detroit neighborhoods continue to face difficult and uncertain times, there are reasons to feel optimistic that change for the better is not only possible – it is happening. A clear example of this positive trend is the work of the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC) in stabilizing the Grandmont Rosedale communities in northwest Detroit. Grandmont Rosedale is a cluster of five traditional neighborhoods first developed in the 1920s. These neighborhoods, characterized by historic quality homes, tree-lined streets and strong community-based organizations, have been among Detroit’s most stable communities for decades. While other areas of the city have steadily lost population and housing units, Grandmont Rosedale has been able to maintain its position as a ‘Neighborhood of Choice,’ attracting new residents from both within and outside of the City of Detroit. As a consequence of the national foreclosure crisis and economic recession, however, the housing market in the Grandmont Rosedale area was also destabilized, resulting in historically high vacancy rates, a drop in both home prices and homeownership rates, and increasing blight. GRDC responded to this recent change in market conditions with a Community Stabilization Initiative designed to stabilize the local housing market and ensure the long-term viability of its neighborhoods. This initiative is a key component of a comprehensive, strategic approach to community development, including work in housing renovation, commercial revitalization, community safety, public space improvements, and neighborhood organizing. At the heart of the Community Stabilization Initiative is a program to acquire and renovate vacant and foreclosed properties and resell them to new homeowners. Since mid-2010, GRDC has acquired, renovated and sold almost 30 vacant houses. GRDC’s strategy is to generate good “comparable sales” which can be used to support private market activity. This has been crucial to stabilizing values when fore-

closure sales and distressed properties still dominate recent activity. “Our strategy is really working,” stated GRDC Executive Director Tom Goddeeris. “Our houses are selling quickly and at higher-than-average prices. More than half of our buyers are people moving into Detroit, which many people may find surprising. Homebuyers are recognizing the opportunity to get a beautiful home in a strong neighborhood at an incredible value.” GRDC’s home renovation efforts have attracted the support of the Kresge Foundation, Ford Foundation, Detroit LISC and the Detroit Development Fund. This fall, GRDC expects to begin renovation on nine additional units of vacant housing with the support of the City of Detroit’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP3). Other components of GRDC’s stabilization initiative include providing home repair grants and loans to low-income homeowners and actively combating blight through citizen action. A dynamic Vacant Property Task Force comprised of neighborhood residents works diligently to monitor and maintain vacant homes and to advocate for selective demolition of dangerous buildings. The Grandmont Rosedale communities have been classified as “Traditional Neighborhoods” within the Detroit Future City strategic framework plan unveiled earlier this year. As such, city planning policy is well-aligned with GRDC’s own neighborhood strategy. In addition to strengthening Grandmont Rosedale’s historic housing stock, this strategy calls for revitalizing the area’s commercial core along Grand River, improving public safety and developing a strong “sense of place”. This vision is reflected in “Quality of Life Plan” adopted by the community through a grass roots planning process conducted in 2012. “We are optimistic about the future of our community,” continued Goddeeris. “Our residents – both long-timers and new arrivals – are committed to doing what it takes to keep our neighborhoods strong and vibrant.” For more information about GRDC and to view the full text of the Grandmont Rosedale Quality of Life Plan, visit their web site at


Palmer Park Revitalizing

1893: The very first female police officer in the United States was Detroiter Marie Owen.

From Family Farm to Community Park 26



ucked adjacent to Woodward Avenue, the main urban north-south artery of Detroit, between Six and Seven Mile Roads, sits a spacious oasis of greenery and valuable historic woodlands. Known as Palmer Park for more than a century, the area is on the precipice of major revitalization to become, once again, one of Detroit’s most magnificent natural jewels. In the late 1800s, this place was the private domain of one of Detroit’s leading couples, Senator Thomas Palmer and his wife Lizzie. Here they entertained at their country retreat, an authentic log cabin overlooking Lake Francis and surrounded by their 640-acre farm, garden and ancient forest. The Palmers enjoyed taking dignitaries and politicians to the farm by horse cart from downtown Detroit for picnics and firework displays. When a senator visited, he was asked to plant a tree. A typical visit included showing off Palmer’s prized horses, offering visitors freshly pressed cider from the orchards, enjoying bonfires near the lake, singing, and enjoying nature. There was often political dialogue, as Palmer was an advocate for women’s suffrage and the arts. The Palmers were one of the founders of what is now known as the Detroit Institute of Arts. In 1894, Palmer presented the City of Detroit with 120 acres of their beloved farm, which would soon grow to the current 296 acres we now know as Palmer Park. It was given with the stipulation that it be used as a pleasure park for the people of the City of Detroit and that none of the virgin forest should be wantonly destroyed. About three years ago, with the threat of park closings and budget cuts by the city, the People for Palmer Park (PFPP) arose from members of the community who love Palmer Park. This new Michigan nonprofit corporation, with its 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, has partnered with the City of Detroit Recreation and General Services Department through the City’s Adopt-a-Park -Program for the preservation, beautification and revitalization of Palmer Park —


PICTURED: The historic Palmer Park Log Cabin, built in 1885 for Senator Thomas W. Palmer and his wife. ABOVE: Story time in the park on a sunny summer day BOTTOM: Kids enjoying the new splash park OPPOSITE: TEN & Under Palmer Park Tennis Academy PHOTOS TAKEN BY Barbara Barefield, © 2013



following Palmer’s legacy and mantra, “for the good of all.” Recognizing the long-term need for stabilization, PFPP formed to create a sustainable effort to revive Palmer Park. An important goal of this all-volunteer group is to make Palmer Park once again a destination site for healthy living and recreation, as well as a ­protected nature reserve. In the short time that PFPP has existed, the organization has mobilized community volunteers and residents from the surrounding neighborhoods. Some of the accomplishments include: cleaning out the 12 miles of park’s forest trails making them bikable and walkable; planting apple orchards in three locations; starting a Junior Tennis Academy for children; hosting free yoga classes; organizing weekly bike rides; bringing little league baseball back to the


park; organizing family Story Time events; sponsoring two Log Cabin Days, attracting masses to view the historic structure; organizing its third annual historic architectural tour of the park and area apartment buildings; holding a Winter Festival that brought horse and carriage rides back to the Park; fall hay rides through the trails, and much more. In addition to planning special events and recreational activities, PFPP organizes regular cleanups of the park, as well as flower and tree plantings. The atmosphere in the park is clearly changing, and the community-city partnership is reflected in improved maintenance and increased usage of the park. This summer, the Lear Corporation built a state-ofthe-art Splash Pad to replace the defunct swimming pool. On opening day, Lear and PFPP sponsored a celebration with over

1200 people in attendance. Soon, adjacent to the Splash Pad, a new playscape will be built in partnership with the City of Detroit. In 2014, PFPP will revive the Palmer Park Art Fair and hopes to host a Green Energy Fair. Additional goals that need funding include: developing an urban farm/ community garden space, revitalizing the historic Palmer Park Log Cabin, resurfacing the tennis courts, maintaining the 700 apple trees in our orchards, opening bathrooms, providing a safe walking and biking path around the park perimeter, restoring and expanding trails, adding nature and historic markers, kiosks, signage, security and lighting through the park and more. People for Palmer Park seeks partnerships with other organizations, businesses and individuals to help us continue to im-

Individuals participating in free summer yoga classes PHOTO TAKEN BY Barbara Barefield, 2013 GREAT LAKES CAPITAL©FUND

prove and beautify this urban park “for the good of all” and to create more opportunities for the community to benefit from this irreplaceable natural resource and important hub for healthy living. How you can help: • Visit the website to join our email list and for all park info • Become a member of People for Palmer Park (see website for details) • Join our Facebook page to receive updates about all the PFPP activities and events • Come to Palmer Park! Jointly submitted by Barbara Barefield, PFPP Board Member & Events Chair & Rochelle Lento, PFPP Board President.

Mitchell Milner and Joseph Caringella congratulate Great Lakes Capital Fund for its commitment to the development of housing for homeless veterans. Milner & Caringella, Inc., are consultants specializing in housing development for MC the homeless, veterans, and other special needs groups.

Count on Us. Count on More. For most people, it’s just a briefcase. For our clients, it’s a symbol of expertise, courage, and unwavering service. For Clark Hill attorneys and other professionals, it represents a toolkit of integrated resources, networks, and talented teams—all centered on anticipating and responding to your ever-changing business needs and challenges. With Clark Hill at your side, you can be assured that we will be there, always, when and where you need us, giving you the competitive edge to stay ahead and win in the marketplace.


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BECAUSE IT’S DETROIT BY Jeremy Tick, tick management


everal months ago my wife and I decided to relocate from Washington, DC to Detroit. Before our move, as we shared our decision with our community of friends and colleagues, mostly consultants like us or safely nestled career FEDS, the general question was “Why Detroit?!” Our response; “Because, it’s Detroit.” We arrived here five and a half weeks ago. Over the last 20 years work and school has afforded me the opportunity to live in Boston, New York City, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. Each of these moves has been to start some new and ex-

citing project – whether to Pittsburgh to earn a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, to New York City to participate in the first ever e-commerce efforts of the luxury foods emporium, Dean & DeLuca, or to Los Angeles to be the business manager for a prime-time television star. I’ve done some pretty cool stuff. But the most exciting adventure in this twenty-year run has been my move to Detroit. Soon after relocating from LA to DC to join my then fiancée, where she had landed after grad school, we agreed that Washington was going to be a parking spot for us while we figured out the place we

would ultimately call our home. I’m an East Coaster by birth, so for me, the only ‘real’ cities were New York, Boston, Chicago and maybe LA, because the film industry is pretty sexy and if you’re lucky, pays really well. My wife, a Midwesterner by birth, was all for Chicago – New York would be a stretch for her and LA was too far, Boston was pretty, but… etc. We couldn’t quite find something that was going to accommodate our chosen lifestyle as urban entrepreneurs who find significant importance in work/life balance. Over the winter holidays, while visiting my wife’s parents in Michigan, just

Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous landscape architect who designed Central Park, also designed Belle Isle.



We are a family of companies serving the needs of families.


Medallion Management, Inc. outside of Ann Arbor, after, in fact ruling out Ann Arbor, I recalled having read an article about a restaurant in Detroit in GQ a few years back. I asked my wife how far we were from the city. For me, with my background, nothing could be less interesting than visiting an old, rusty, out-of-date manufacturing town that I knew nothing about – but I was looking for a distraction from the holiday ‘family stuff’, and if GQ had signaled the place out as worthwhile, maybe it was worth a look. Besides in a recent, rather patriotic moment, I had sold my Acura and replaced it with a Chrysler 200 – I thought it might not be bad to see the city from where my car was imported. My wife confessed, despite having grown up about forty miles away, that she had experienced little of the city save its famed Fox Theatre – she said “basically when I was growing up, you went in and you went out. You didn’t stay.” We agreed to go on that Friday as it would coincide with an event my sister-in-law thought I would find professionally intriguing. As we drove down Interstate 94 from Ann Arbor, I was surprised when nearing the city limits to see a real skyline. I turned to my wife and said, “it’s a city!” She smiled and reminded me that far more than luxury food and television stars, there was a whole world of people doing things that required skyscrapers – even in Detroit. She began to share some of its rather fascinating history and as I listened I began to finally understand her feelings of connection to our Chrysler. Her grandmother had moved from Pennsylvania to Detroit and been a “Riviter” during World War II. Upon his return from the war, her grandfather joined Chrysler too… their work in a factory in Detroit had lain the foundation for my wife to have earned a top tier graduate education and participate in the life that we now shared. Listening, with the city as the backdrop, I thought to myself this is really what America is about. As we drove, I was surprised both by how urban the place felt and yet how empty. It felt wide – like there was room for more than what was AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY

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there. She explained to me that Detroit, in its heyday, had been home to more than 2,000,000 people but now housed about 700,000. Despite myself, the New Yorker in me thought ‘wow, cheap real estate!’ The businessman in me thought: doesn’t that mean opportunity? We had timed our visit to experience a brown bag lunch at one of the incubators, The Green Garage. While there, I listened to entrepreneurs talk about their various business efforts, from self-publishing services to public advocacy, from medical devices and furniture manufacturing to organic grocery delivery services… all the sorts of widgets one would expect to find domiciled in a vibrant and sophisticated city – this place felt more like San Francisco than it did the Midwest. I was curious to learn more. Interestingly, not one of the business owners discussed or mentioned the fund raising process: they were all producing


something and selling it. Of equal interest was their shared focus on the production of widgets that were relevant to their immediate community. As a consultant and coach specialized in helping businesses design and organize infrastructure to support their brands, I was transfixed – here was a community of creative professionals building businesses and creating opportunities for themselves – together. This was not the group of quasi-entrepreneurs I have experienced in the past whose primary output is a pitch for investment – this was a group of do-ers, making business happen in a challenged economy, in what is arguably amongst the most challenged of cities in our nation. And they were all smiling. Did they have a secret? If so, I wanted to find it out. We left the Green Garage and spent the afternoon touring the city and consciously meeting retail business owners and restaurateurs. Even with the December cold,

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everyone we spoke with was warm, interested, and in spite of the busy-ness of the holiday, took the time to listen and seemingly be interested in learning about the purpose of our trip. Unlike in other cities I have explored, there was genuine excitement about the possibility of something, or someone new joining in the community. Even more unusual was what seemed to be a genuine desire to help. We left Detroit with a box of fresh tamales from Mexican Town and stories we had no way of knowing we would soon share. Upon return to DC my wife and I were both perplexed and excited: Detroit had not been on our radar, but it seemed to have many of the things we were looking for – an urban environment, creative professionals, entrepreneurial spirit, sophistication, old world elegance and genuine civic pride. Put simply, such a winning combination of attributes had never been presented to either of us in any of our initial prospects– there was always some sacrifice. But Detroit posed none that we could find. While not hooked, per se, we were nonetheless intrigued and agreed we would make a return visit. We did that in March, with the intention of snooping around, checking out the restaurants and jazz bars, listening in on another brown bag and interviewing locals for their feelings of safety (given Detroit’s reputation) and community (also given Detroit’s reputation.) The first surprise was the hotel… shortly after arrival we asked ourselves when do clerks in a Downtown/ Commuter City in a chain hotel actually smile at you and recall your name? Next surprise – the following day: despite it being four months since our initial visit, everyone we met in December recalled us, our work, and our expressed interest in moving to Detroit. They asked: How is business? Have you checked out this place yet? They’re renovating this space, it’s beautiful, you should go see it… I have a friend doing this business, you two should meet – let me see if they’re free, and so on. Final surprise: we had the opportunity for a last GREAT LAKES CAPITAL FUND

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minute viewing of a space in Midtown, in an historic hotel that had been converted to condos and apartments, located directly across the street from the Detroit Institute for Art and the Central Library. We viewed the space. After seeing it and leaving we immediately asked to see

it again. Places that look and feel like this aren’t available anymore except in the back pages of the New York Times Magazine and we’re only in our 30’s and not investment bankers. We took a deep breath. We left and went around the corner for a drink to talk it over and calm the adrenaline from

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For more details on how KMG Prestige   can benefit your community contact   

Karen Mead Vice President of Business & Development (989) 400‐4828

having seen such a gorgeous place being so near to what we have been looking for, and for the right price. And then, without having spoken to any of my clients or my wife’s employer, without having spent more than one full day in the city, without doing a proper risk analysis or knowing what we were really getting ourselves into, we called the landlord and committed to the first and only space we had seen in Detroit. We agreed to make it our home. Because it’s Detroit. Four months later we have been here for just over five weeks. The city has just declared bankruptcy and has made international headlines – both good and bad. There is a lot of discussion about what to do and how it can happen and there is lots of discussion about who is at fault and query about what’s next. For native Detroiters there is consternation about politics. But for me, the expatriate from all of these other, fabulous places, I feel at home for the first time in years, amidst what I am experiencing as a calm, civil, elegant and proud place where people work hard, think good thoughts and talk about ways to improve this creative city that I believe has begun its next renaissance. They seem to take pride in just about everything they create and get excited by the work of others. On several occasions I have been told, “Detroit needs more people like you.” This is a far cry from the attitude of the glitterati I spent the better part of fifteen years associating with where, I assure you, it was quite the opposite. Though I have been here only five full weeks, it is because of my experience thus far that my suspicions have been confirmed: this is a place where the new America can thrive. The despondency that is referenced and reinforced in the media seems not to be present as the stranger that walks beside you on the street nods and smiles. The blight that is so frequently being highlighted for its sad, poetic beauty seems not to be the focus of the many creative people who are lovingly restoring houses and commercial buildings to their former glory, creating homes and businesses that inspire others to do the same. The year round downtown farmer’s GREAT LAKES CAPITAL FUND

Construction & Renovation for Residential, Commercial, Industrial & Multifamily market, packed with thousands of people, seems not to be representative of the ‘food desert’ that is referenced when speaking of Detroit and the Midwest in general. And finally, the relative slowness of the place, I believe, has allowed for the loneliness now so prevalent in the major cities, not to be present here – people take the time to get to know you, and they seem to care. As a consultant who specializes in business development and organization health, what intrigues me most about the opportunities presented to entrepreneurs either in, or considering Detroit is that there is room not just for creativity, but for creative businesses to grow in a healthful, sustainable manner. The barriers to entry here are not so complicated as in other places and the talent pool is vast and surprisingly sophisticated, hard working and refreshingly unentitled. With inexpensive real estate and space to grow, creative professionals have time and reasonable amounts of resources presented to them such that they may grow organically and experience, with reduced pressure, the healthful stages of group process – forming, storming, norming, and performing. They can afford to make mistakes and learn through their experiences what works for their new enterprises without the pressures of impossibly priced real estate – they can make neighbors rather than competitors and utilize them as barometers for their own possibilities. Most importantly, they can walk down the street on their way to a home they can afford and be proud of. While doing so, they can take a deep breath after a stressful day and experience a complete stranger smiling at them in acknowledgement – and somehow their day and all of the challenges and rewards of learning to build both a business and a life here becomes that much more worthwhile. Because it’s Detroit. Jeremy Tick is a professional coach, management consultant and founder of Tick Manage-

• Affordable Housing • Commercial • Residential • Disaster Restoration

“Your Contractor for Life”

31313 Northwestern Highway, Suite 206 Farmington Hills, MI 48334

p 248-855-3500 • f 248-855-2420


ment Group, working with individuals/organizations to achieve their business goals. He can be reached at




Opened to the public in 1884, Belle Isle Park is still the largest island park in the nation.



etroit is going through a transition from being the automobile capital of the world to becoming something new. Detroit is incredibly horizontal. Outside of the small core that makes up the downtown business district there are very few buildings taller than two stories. The drop in population, from nearly 2 million people in 1950 to around 700,000 people and falling in 2013, has left vast vacant areas of unmanaged, publicly owned land and a market full of steady to declining structures. It’s the empty space that is often most stunning to visitors. Vacant parcels are covered with scrub trees like paulownia and box elder. Reports in the media are true: Detroit has been poorly managed. Corruption and mismanagement has cost Detroit dearly. The city lacks funding for provision of basic services. Some vacant land has been un-mowed and unmanaged for years going on decades. Community residents and activists have cleared vacant parcels and established gardens in efforts to strengthen community identity, improve access to agricultural produce, and even to attempt small scale economic development in areas where entire business districts have been boarded up or demolished. Still, given the dominance of publicly owned land in Detroit neighborhoods, something larger in scale is needed to replace blight with beauty and to resuscitate the city’s dwindling tax base. Five years ago, when the city’s portfolio of private land sequestered through foreclosure reached somewhere around 30,000 acres, businessman and entrepreneur, John Hantz, pleaded with the city to avoid economic catastrophe by putting empty lots back


into the economy through a homesteading program. Every unmanaged, publicly owned parcel generates expense instead of revenue. Every un-mowed lot makes neighborhoods less attractive, lowers the property values of remaining residents, and increases the flow of residents from the city into the suburbs. Detroit leaders rejected Hantz’s homesteading proposal, which he offered to fund and manage, so he began exploring the idea of purchasing hundreds or thousands of acres from the city. He proposed purchasing the land and using agricultural production as a cost effective tool for making neighborhoods more livable. While the idea of giving land away to the residents did not win support from city leaders, the concept of receiving cash for the city’s liabilities, shifting property maintenance costs over to the private sector, making neighborhoods safer and more attractive by removing brush and dangerous structures, and creating a new platform for economic development received a modest level of interest which proved adequate for jump-starting negotiations related to the sale of surplus property. It took four years of negotiations to develop an agreement between Hantz Farms and the city of Detroit. During that time steps had to be taken to develop and implement an agricultural ordinance which legalized commercial agriculture as a land use in Detroit. The city had to decide which square mile of the city’s 139 square mile landscape could be used as a starting point for testing the idea of a large scale farm within the urban center. The city had limited experience with selling land, so discussions on fair price in a distressed market took months to wade through. Hantz Farms GREAT LAKES CAPITAL FUND

management had to take care to select types of production that could both satisfy company expectations that the venture would at least break even over time, as well as the needs and expectations of neighbors who would live interspersed throughout the development area where the farm would be established. In December, 2012 Detroit city council approved the sale of approximately 150 acres of non-contiguous acres to Hantz Farms for the purpose of improving neighborhoods through the planting and management of mixed hardwoods. The agreement includes a provision which could allow expansion by 180 acres four years after implementation of the agreement. The Hantz Farms venture was watched carefully by others who have interests in using larger scale agricultural production as a tool for economic development. Some businesses see this type of investment as a new and exciting avenue for philanthropy. Business owners have expressed interest in larger scale, concentrated investments backed by ongoing management plans which yield long range benefits and financial sustainability. Non-profits believe that larger scale farms can serve as a platform for job creation, and for improving city resident access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Still others are excited about the potential for a growing number of larger scale farms to serve as a supply chain for food processing and distribution ventures. A small group of bolder, innovative entrepreneurs are pursuing dreams of abandoned buildings being repurposed for the use of indoor growing systems capable of growing any crop, year-round, to supply consumers with exotic goods like local coffee, local salt water shrimp, and tropical fruits. Along with addressing the primary interests of investors, well managed urban farms contribute to a more livable city with lower costs of urban services by reducing pressure on storm water sewer systems. Crops like mixed hardwoods have the potential to remove heavy metals from sites which have been contaminated through industrial and commercial uses in previous decades. Many of the costs and benefits of larger scale urban agriculture are yet to be discovered. There is no way to accurately forecast which specific ventures, or which types of agricultural production will prove successful over time in Detroit. Agriculture is a new sector, in a city which is undergoing a severe transition toward something new, and governed by a zoning ordinance which emerged simultaneously with the city’s first large scale production venture. An unexpected rebound of the automobile industry as a job dynamo within Detroit’s economy could instantly shrink the city’s willingness to repurpose vacant land for farming. Any effort to build new automobile assembly plants in Detroit, along with new housing for a related expanding workforce, would receive a hero’s welcome from city officials and would redirect all discussions about economic development back toward Detroit’s familiar and comfortable past. Nobody who is from Detroit, or who has lived here for awhile, believes that this type of revival is likely or even AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY

In December, 2012 Detroit city council approved the sale of approximately 150 acres of noncontiguous acres to Hantz Farms for the purpose of improving neighborhoods through the planting and management of mixed hardwoods. possible. Still, it is common to come across people who dream out loud about a return to days gone by. Urban agriculture is an important tool for reshaping Detroit’s neighborhoods. Businesses will always be willing to invest in Detroit’s downtown business district. The remaining 132 square miles of neighborhoods, hollowed out by outmigration have found a viable suitor in the form of residents, foundations, and businesses who are willing to invest in Detroit’s empty spaces. It should be emphasized that urban agriculture is a tool for economic development, not a cure. The tool has to be used to manage undervalued or underperforming resources such as surplus land. The cure has more to do with repositioning surplus publicly held property back into the private sector than with initiating a new and novel agricultural production practice. Moving Detroit back toward a livable city with healthy ebb and flow of residents, rather than just a flow, is the desired outcome. If urban planners and geographers are correct, redeploying some percentage of Detroit’s vacant landscape for agricultural production could make Detroit the envy of the global marketplace as global populations escalate and access to fuel and natural resources becomes more limited. What looks like a hollow city in 2013, if managed well going forward, could become a major urban center with attractive open space and the capacity to produce higher value agricultural goods, near consumers, in an increasingly urbanized world. Hantz Farms maintains a website, and a facebook page, for people who want to track progress as the development plan for the venture is implemented. While there are no formal tours of the farm, management often takes time to show visitors around. Carhartt, the Detroit-based clothing manufacturer, partnered with Hantz Farms to clear fifty vacant parcels as part of the process of site preparation for tree planting. Other companies have asked if they, too, can partner with Hantz Farms because of the interest their employees have taken in the reshaping of Detroit. Michael Score is President of Hantz Farms and can be reached at Mike.



By David Carroll Quicken Loans


wo of Detroit’s biggest moments in the media spotlight over the last few years featured Detroit music icons — Eminem and Kid Rock ­— in television spots that aired during key sporting events when the eyes of the world were peeled on Detroit. The first from Chrysler aired during Super Bowl XLV in 2011 and the second during the 2012 World Series. The Chrysler spot ended with a close-up of Eminem saying “This is the motor city – and this is what we do” and the words “Imported from Detroit” on the screen. It was riveting. Equally riveting was its soundtrack featuring the music from Eminem’s hit song Lose Yourself with its line “Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?” At Quicken Loans, we were not going to let Detroit’s opportunity slip or go unnoticed and we wanted to share its comeback story more widely. So just in time for the 2012 World Series featuring the Detroit Tigers, we came up with a spot that allowed millions to stare Detroit’s opportunity in the face. The commercial features the music and voice of Detroit native Kid Rock, and proclaims: Opportunity. It doesn’t stare you in the face. It’s not going to yell at you to come ‘n get it. It doesn’t knock. So what does opportunity look like? Not what you might think. You see, opportunity is not a right. It’s definitely not equal. And it doesn’t come with an instruction manual. That’s because opportunity isn’t found. It’s molded. It’s built. It’s created. It’s as much about grit as it is intellect. An explosive high-tech corridor located at the intersection of muscle 38


and brains? You bet. Because opportunity only comes to those already in the game. What does opportunity look like? It looks like Detroit. And opportunity is made in Detroit. But why are we sold on downtown Detroit and the amazing opportunity to help shepherd a Great American City into its best days yet? If you know anything about Quicken Loans, you know that our culture is very different and we have taken our own path to success. Where other companies have mission statements – we have ISMs – the truisms that state our values and shape who we are and what we do. Our unique culture has led to our success. Last year we closed $70 billion in mortgage loans, J.D. Power and Associates ranked us highest in overall customer satisfaction among major U.S. mortgage originators for the third consecutive year and we have been on Fortune’s Best Places to Work list for the last ten years. Just recently, Quicken Loans was named #1 on Computerworld magazine’s 2013 ‘Best Places to Work in IT’ list. This is the fourth time we’ve taken the top spot. We have built a company centered on technology and innovation, so earning the honor as

Rock Ventures’ Scale Model of Downtown Detroit

the top place to work in IT is a real testament to our nearly 1,000 technology team members across the country. In fact, we view ourselves as an IT company that happens to sell mortgages. But without talented people with the right skills and can-do attitude we cannot succeed. It became clear to us that our creative team members do not want to work in a nondescript office park in the suburbs – they want to be in cities with vibrant urban, walkable cores where people work and play, and perhaps more importantly, live. We needed to offer what they wanted or we would not be able to hire the talent we needed going forward. Plus our founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert is a Detroiter to the core. He was born in Detroit and his parents and grandparents were raised and ran businesses in Detroit. He saw enormous opportunity in the amazing architecture and assets in downtown. In 2010, we decided to leave Livonia, Michigan for downtown Detroit. We believe for Michigan to succeed, thrive and compete, our largest city, Detroit, must be viable and vibrant -- that is both our mission and passion at Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures, Quicken Loans’ umbrella entity that manages a diverse portfolio of companies, investments and real estate.



A lot can happen in three years Two out of three of Detroit’s major automotive companies emerged from bankruptcy and are finding new life and profitability. The nation and its major lenders went through the greatest economic meltdown since the depression with a record number of foreclosures that killed the residential real estate market for several years. Quicken Loans went from being a suburban-based online mortgage lender to an urban-based national mortgage power house that has tripled in size. We are currently the third largest retail mortgage lender in the country and the largest online lender anywhere. We believe that a large part behind Quicken Loans recent success is our move to Detroit. People are excited about the influx of folks working in the city and the downtown developments, and our team members are energized by this high-tech corridor that is a combination of muscle and brains. Since 2010 we’ve moved 3,600 team members to downtown and have created another 5,600 new positions in Michigan’s biggest urban core. And, this summer we have more than 1,000 paid interns working in downtown Detroit, including 150 from out of state and hailing from 168 different colleges. When we made the move to Detroit, we made a commitment to play a role in developing a creative, tech-focused urban core where people want to live, work and play. To us, that’s Opportunity Detroit. We now own or control more than 30 properties totaling 40

more than 7.6 million square feet in downtown Detroit -- an urban core that has attracted more than 80 new companies – many of them IT startups. Most of them are historic buildings which we’re renovated and revitalized. Most prominent among these is the historic Madison Theatre Building, built in 1917, in downtown Detroit, which we transformed it into a unique entrepreneurial hub for tech-based start-up companies in Detroit. In just 15 months, it went from being a neglected abandoned property to being named one of the coolest office spaces. The M@dison building project is another step in the Opportunity Detroit vision for a technology and web-centered corridor of growth and activity in the heart of downtown Detroit. We’ve also become advocates for placemaking – an approach to urban revitalization that focuses on streetscapes, sidewalks, urban parks and urban design in an effort to make downtown more appealing and increase the interaction among people in a city’s public spaces. That’s why Campus Martius Park, which is surrounded by four of our buildings, features its own beach this summer, complete with beach chairs and a refreshment stand. On any given day of the week our team members and others downtown can feast on delicious food from a dozen different food trucks. Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures are not alone in our view of downtown. Companies such as Twitter, General Motors, Chrysler, Ernst & Young, Ilitch Holdings, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Detroit Lions, Campbell Ewald, GalaxESolutions (a medical IT company GREAT LAKES CAPITAL FUND

Detroit has the second largest theater district in the country with over 13,000 theater seats. from New Jersey) high tech companies like Uber,, Detroit Labs, watch and bike maker and retailer Shinola (whose founder is from Texas), and retailers like Whole Foods, Buffalo Wild Wings, Papa Joes, Roasting Plant, Just Baked, MooseJaw and many others are sold on Detroit too. Together, we have added to the tax base through employment and property taxes and hired many Detroit residents, while attracting new business/tenants in retail, tech, restaurants, and much more. Since January 2011, Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures have invested nearly $1 billion on our buildings, renovations and refurbishments in downtown Detroit. In addition to commercial real estate development, we’re played a key role in the M1 Rail project that will bring street cars and the additional development that accompanies this type of transit, to 6.6 miles of track that will run up and down the Woodward corridor. Rock Ventures is among the private investors that have committed a combined $100 million in this project that after years of hard work and planning will break ground this summer and be completed by 2015. With downtown residential occupancy at 98%, we also plan to focus heavily on creating new residential and retail options in and around downtown. At the same time, we cannot forget this is the same city that is now under the control of an emergency manager and possibly on the cusp of becoming the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Unemployment, poverty and city services remain at unac-

ceptable levels but we believe there is an unprecedented wave of positive energy, effort and passion being directed toward solving the city’s problems. Just as the auto companies had to reinvent themselves, so does the City of Detroit. And a stronger Detroit means a stronger Michigan. Despite the city’s challenges business and quality of life in the downtown core are becoming more and more vibrant, and we are confident that the rest of the city is on the track to recovery as well. Our work in Detroit is an example of what can be done by those who think big, and who don’t take “no” for an answer. Connectivity is key for a revitalized city. Creating a vibrant urban core where people want to live, work and play is critical to the region’s future. At Quicken Loans and our family of companies, we are growing and creating jobs at an exceptional rate. In the past 28 years, Quicken Loans and our Rock Ventures family have grown to more than 75 companies across the country but our home is Detroit. We knew Detroit was full of potential to become a thriving city once again. If we’ve come this far in three years, imagine what Detroit will look like five years from now. Don’t just imagine. Don’t just believe. Become part of Opportunity Detroit too. After all as Kid Rock said, “opportunity only comes to those already in the game.”. David Carroll is the Vice President of Quicken Loans.


The first concrete road in the world was current-day Woodward Avenue in Detroit, built in 1909.

D:hive store front on Woodward Ave

Creative Rebuilding in the City As our Director of Community Relations and stellar tour guide Jeanette Pierce likes to remind us, Detroit’s motto is all about rebuilding: “We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.” Detroit has rebuilt itself literally and figuratively many times in its 312 years of existence. Now the stage is set for a new period in the city’s history, and we all have an opportunity to be a part of it. As Detroit’s most approachable resource center and entrepreneurial hub, we love connecting people, empowering businesses, and growing organizations that move the city forward . Below is our recap of what’s happening in Art, Entertainment, and Entrepreneurial activity in Detroit. Detroit’s Art Scene A city with a strong cultural core, Detroit is rich in color, sound, and architectural design. Detroit is home to world renowned art museums including the Detroit Institute of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), both located in Midtown. As you explore Detroit you’ll witness lots of construction and renovation. The Auburn, for example, was built last year and enjoyed full occupancy before construction finished. It is now home to commercial spaces like book stores, design companies, high end boutiques, a pet shop, a Thai restaurant, and art galleries like The Butcher’s Daughter. Art is alive and well in the city. Monthly and annual events are happening all over, and city-wide initiatives like the Detroit Beautification Project, which employs the nation’s finest graffiti artists to transform brick and concrete into sprawling feats of art, are commonplace. Want to really explore the galleries of Detroit? Connect with newly formed group Art Detroit Now (http://artdetroitnow. com/). Galleries in this group stay open late on the 3rd Thursday of every month for Art Detroit Now showings. Other major events happening each year to strengthen the arts include the Detroit Design Festival, Art X Detroit, the Jazz and Techno Festivals, and more. Unique to the city is the Heidelberg Project, an outdoor art


project by the artist Tyree Guyton that also helps local artists establish themselves through the Emerging Artists Program. Tyree creates art with recycled materials and bright colors to help represent the resurrection of the soul and unity of all people. In a city that has struggled, the project represents a bright spot on art in the neighborhoods. Detroit Entertainment There’s never a boring day or night in the city. With new bars and restaurants popping up, and outdoor activities along the Detroit Riverwalk, you’ll always find something fun to do. D:hive lists city events and volunteer opportunities on our online calendar. D:hive also offers weekly tours and special events for the community. Each area of Detroit has its own unique character. Downtown has the beautiful Detroit Riverwalk, along with posh bars, restaurants, and several parks with new amenities added including a beach bar, a life-size chess game, and colorful new seating. For those interested in sports and gaming, Downtown Detroit is home to three major sports teams–the Red Wings, the Tigers, and the Lions. You’ll also find Greektown Casino, Motor City Casino, and MGM Casino downtown. Travel a little further west to Corktown where you’ll find some of the best spots for food and drinks. Several new restaurants, breweries, and wine bars have opened shop, including the nationally recognized Slow’s BBQ, the upscale cocktail bar, Sugar House, and newly opened Motor City Wine. Head over to Midtown for a classy night at the DIA, where you can listen to music on Friday nights or watch a film at the Detroit Film Theatre. In Midtown you can also go bowling, eat at a pizzeria or hang out at one of the many art galleries in the area. Want to see more of the city? Experience the Detroit you never knew with one of D:hive’s tours. Some of our most popular tours at D:hive include our D:hive bar tours, scavenger hunts, and Detroit walking tours. Our tours are free or practically free. You can visit our website for more information on Detroit tours and sightseeing.



Detroit Entrepreneurs Detroit is a large city of 700,000, but still has a small town feel. This small town feel is important to helping our business community flourish. Detroit has low costs for rent and space, but it also has a lot of resources available to support startups in the city. With Detroit’s low cost for rent and supportive business community, college graduates are staying and many businesses are moving to capitalize on the opportunity here. Businesses in the city can receive support from seed funding to legal advice and more, many of them listed on the Detroit BizGrid ( Incubator programs like TechTown and Bizdom

help retail and tech entrepreneurs grow their business. D:hive’s BUILD program teaches the basics of business at an affordable rate and has graduated over 200 aspiring entrepreneurs to date. We continue our relationship with our graduates through BUILD Institute our monthly workshop series. We have partnered with Google, Twitter, Wayne State Law Clinic, Adcraft and more to bring in depth programming and ongoing education to our alumni. We also produce Open City Detroit, a casual networking event for current and aspiring business owners that takes place at Cliff Bell’s on the 3rd Monday of the month. In Detroit, we have a unique need for retail downtown and in many areas of the

city. For entrepreneurs there is a great opportunity in retail. You can apply for retail assistance through D:hive’s Pilot program and receive two months of free retail space off of Woodward downtown. TechTown Detroit also has a special program for retail entrepreneurs in the city. Pop-up shops can be found all over the city, as many entrepreneurs are testing out their business. More About D:hive D:hive Detroit is your connection to the city. We serve the community as a resource and welcome center helping others live, work, build and engage in Detroit. D:hive is open Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Stop in anytime to use our space, hangout, or ask any more questions about the city. For more information visit

Ginosko Development Company “Building a Brighter Future Today” Ginosko Development Company (GDC) is a real estate development company specializing in quality affordable housing creation and preservation. GDC, through its subsidiaries and joint ventures, engages in the acquisition, development, redevelopment, ownership, and operational oversight of multifamily properties primarily in the United States. Its activities include the acquisition and development of residential properties and undeveloped land reserves for development or sale. Ginosko is the Greek meaning for, “to understand completely” or “to know.” We at Ginosko Development Company, believe that a thorough understanding and comprehensive knowledge is the unbreakable foundation for any successful real estate venture. GDC’s communities are known for their careful planning, attention to detail and respect for the environment. GDC strives to lead in the evolution of real estate use in order to meet the market needs of a global economy.

41800 West 11 Mile Road, Suite 209 | Novi MI 48375 office 248.513.4900 | fax 248.513.4904

ADVERTISER INDEX Art of Leadership....................................................................... 10

Keystone Construction Corp..................................................... 31

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP................................................. 2

KMG Prestige............................................................................ 34

Chesapeake Community Advisors, Inc...................................... 34

Loomis, Ewert, Parsley, Davis & Gotting, P.C............................. 46

Clark Hill.................................................................................. 29

Love Funding............................................................................ 35

Community Economic Development Association of Michigan... 34

McCartney & Company, P.C...................................................... 15

Community Research Services................................................... 10

Medallion Management, Inc...................................................... 31

Crestline Communities.............................................................. 13

MHT Housing, Inc...................................................................... 4

Dauby O’Conner & Zaleski....................................................... 13

Michigan State Housing Development Authority....................... 33

Douglas Company..................................................................... 33

Milner & Caringella, Inc............................................................ 29

Economides Incorporated Architects......................................... 29

O’Brien Construction Company, Inc.......................................... 47

FHLB Indianapolis.................................................................... 15

Pillar Capital Finance................................................................ 48

G. Fisher Construction.............................................................. 35

Plante Moran............................................................................. 32

Ginosko Development Company............................................... 45

Vogt Santer Insights................................................................... 44

Keller Development................................................................... 31

Wolverine Building Group......................................................... 15

Karl L. Gotting Kenneth W. Beall Michael G. Oliva

Congratulations to Great Lakes Capital Fund on its First 20 Years

Jeffrey L. Green Kevin J. Roragen Richard W. Pennings Ted S. Rozeboom Tracey L. Lackman Michael G. Stefanko Elizabeth Husa Briggs

OVER 40 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING Representing developers and syndicators before the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, U.S. Department of 124 W. Allegan, Suite 700 Lansing, Michigan 48933 Phone 517.482.2400

Housing and Urban Development, Rural Housing and municipalities, and with private lenders. Including: LIHTC, historic and new markets tax credits.



Great Lakes Capital Fund 1118 S. Washington Avenue Lansing, MI 48910

FHA HUD Auburn Hills, MI

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FANNIE MAE DUS Indianapolis, IN

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MARK WIEDELMAN (248) 290-2200 ANAND GAJJAR (212) 651-0830

Reinventing Detroit