Grocery Crawl Draws Community Crowd, Highlights Southwest Detroit Grocers

Grocery Crawl draws community crowd, highlights southwest Detroit grocers

One thing’s for sure – Detroit is no food desert.

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s Green Grocer Project sponsored a grocery crawl on November 14, highlighting four of the many grocery stores in southwest Detroit. Over 40 people toured the local stores, experienced fresh food samples and culture, and listened to presentations by managers.

Garden Fresh Marketplace, E&L Supermercado, Honey Bee Market and Prince Valley Supermarket, all stops on the crawl, received financial support and technical assistance to make store improvements as part of the Green Grocer Project. Other grocers in the community have received grants to make investments, including extensive façade improvements, to their stores. The program is primarily funded by the Kresge Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and through additional support for special projects by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and other sources.

Another program funded through the Green Grocer Project includes the “We’ve Got the Goods” healthy eating initiative which deploys youth food ambassadors, aged 18-24, to engage the community by visiting local grocery stores. Information for customers is made available about nutrition through recipes, cooking demonstrations and tastings. “We’ve Got the Goods” ambassadors were on site at all of the crawl stops where attendees heard more about the initiative.

For more information about the Green Grocer Project, visit www.degc.org/businesses/green-grocer-project.

Mariangela “Mimi” Pledl
Green Grocer Program Manager

Application Period About to Open for D2D Matchmaking Opportunity Event

degc-detroit-growth-update_december_d2d-matchmaking

The D2D Matchmaking Opportunity Event last February attracted 280 Detroit-based companies eager to do business with nine major buying organizations offering 200 potential bidding opportunities. With that kind of success, it’s no surprise that D2 has scheduled a second event for February 11, 2016. Up to 200 may qualify for short, one-on-one interviews with buyers who purchase $925 million per year from other Detroit businesses.

Right now, those organizations are identifying what bidding opportunities they will bring to the event. Starting December 21 through January 11, 2016, any Detroit-based business can apply for a one-on-one interview with a buyer. Once the application period opens, find the link to apply at http://d2dbusiness.org.

The City of Detroit and the Detroit Water and Sewer Department will be among those expected to bring opportunities to the event. Other purchasers are members of the D2D Buyers Council, which consists of 17 organizations: Bedrock Real Estate Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Comerica Inc., Compuware, DMC, DTE Energy, Ernst & Young, Ford Field, Greektown Casino Hotel, Henry Ford Health Systems, Lowe Campbell Ewald, Quicken Loans,             Skidmore Studio, Strategic Staffing Solutions, University of Detroit Mercy, Urban Science, and Wayne State University.

D2D and the buyers will select who they will interview during the three-hour session February 11. Business owners who qualify for a one-on-one interview will be notified around February 1.

All Detroit-based businesses are welcome to attend the free event, which will also feature a short program and chances to network and find assistance from a network of small business service providers.

Brian Watkins
D2D Program Manager

DEGC Realigns, Adds Staff to Focus Efforts on Small Business Development

DEGC’s Michael Forsyth

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) is promoting within and looking to hire a new vice president to better meet the needs of Detroit’s burgeoning small business community.

DEGC’s Michael Forsyth, formerly Motor City Match program manager, has been promoted to Director of Small Business Development. Additionally, DEGC will conduct an extensive search for a vice president of small business development.

We are bringing our targeted programs out of their silos to create a comprehensive small business strategy,” said Rodrick Miller, president and CEO, DEGC. “This small business relaunch and the additional resources we’re investing in this work underscore our commitment to economic inclusivity, clarify the DEGC’s position as a dedicated partner and stakeholder in these businesses’ growth, and highlight the importance that these businesses play in strengthening the entire city’s economy. We had to broadcast this increased focus because small businesses lead in creating job opportunities for Detroiters, revitalizing neighborhoods and improving the overall quality of life in the city.”

DEGC has many programs geared towards the support of small businesses, and has provided small business loans for 30 years. Some DEGC programs include the Green Grocer Project, D2D and Motor City Match. DEGC also extensively supports programs like NEIdeas, BizGrid and PowerMoves Detroit.

DEGC is looking for vice president candidates and hopes to conclude its search soon. DEGC envisions securing resources to further expand its small business support capacity in 2016.

Tiffini D. Smith
Director of Communications

Construction Begins at New DuCharme Place in Lafayette Park

DuCharme Place, LLC

Construction of the new $45 million DuCharme Place apartment community in Lafayette Park is now underway and expected to be complete by the first quarter 2017. The four-building, 185-unit apartment project at 1544 E. Lafayette Boulevard on the west side of the Dequindre Cut is being developed by Walter Cohen and his son David Cohen under the name DuCharme Place, LLC.

“We saw this as an ideal opportunity to develop a lifestyle-focused residential community,” said Walter Cohen. “DuCharme Place offers indoor parking, top quality amenities and is centrally located, while offering affordable living to Detroiters.”

Ducharme Place will be a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 500 to 1,100 square feet. It will include enclosed parking, 24-hour security, a fitness center, a swimming pool with a spa and a private sky terrace. Rent for the units is expected to range from $900 to $1,500 per month. It is within walking distance of the attractions and employment of the Central Business District, Dequindre Cut bicycle/walking path, and the River Walk, Detroit’s beautiful riverfront park.

Under an approved brownfield plan, DuCharme Place, LLC was approved for approximately $4.8M in reimbursement for eligible activities that include environmental site assessments, site preparation and infrastructure improvements. The developer also was also assisted by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s Business Development team in receiving a Commercial Rehabilitation Tax Abatement (PA 210) from the City of Detroit, With more than 30 years’ development experience in Detroit that includes the Stroh River Place and the Park Shelton, Walter Cohen and his companies have professionally managed, developed and built more than 3,000 multi-family units in the Detroit area.

The DuCharme partners and collaborators include: Sachse Construction, McIntosh Poris Associates, the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the Michigan Strategic Fund. 

Jennifer Kanalos
Director of Brownfield Redevelopment

New Apartments to Rise Atop The Griswold

New Apartments to Rise Atop The Griswold

A “sky breaking” marked the start of construction last month on a $24 million residential project that will rise five stories atop The Griswold, the 10-story parking and retail structure at the corner of Griswold Street and Michigan Avenue in Capital Park.

Beginning on the 11th floor, the 80 market-rate apartments in The Griswold will have unobstructed views of downtown Detroit through floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows. The one, two and three-bedroom apartments will range from 750 to 1,600 square feet.

“It is gratifying to be able to revive the Griswold nearly a decade after our initial plans for this location were put on hold,” said David Di Rita, principal of the project development firm The Roxbury Group. “We see the renewed project as a natural evolution of our original vision for the site, which also builds on the current momentum in Capital Park.”

In 2007, the Roxbury Group entered into an original Development Agreement with the DDA for The Griswold, which then envisioned 80 for-sale condominium units. While the project was scrubbed later that year as a result of the collapse of the national real estate market, the DDA proceeded with the construction of the parking structure, including the necessary improvements to support the residential project.

The strong and growing demand for rental apartments in greater downtown coupled with the ongoing redevelopment in the Capital Park district led Roxbury and the DDA to re-launch the residential project.

The Griswold is scheduled for completion at the end of 2016 and when it is finished, it will be the first new-construction apartment project to be built in the Central Business District since the third tower of Riverfront West was completed in 1992.

In addition to The Roxbury Group, the construction team includes Kraemer Design Group as architect and Walbridge as construction manager.

Brian Holdwick
Consultant – Real Estate Development