Land Development

Land of Opportunity

At nearly 150 square miles, Detroit is the perfect location for your project. Our staff is expert in all types of development – commercial/industrial, retail/mixed use and residential. This includes creating and implementing the city’s Industrial Land Assembly Strategy.

DEGC is the one-stop shop for all land development, including project management, transaction structuring, and real estate analysis. DEGC professionals connect businesses to resources and perform financial impact modeling, industry research and competitive analysis to ensure interested investors understand Detroit’s complete value proposition. We also work with the Detroit Land Bank Authority, City of Detroit Planning and Development Department, City of Detroit Housing and Revitalization Department and Detroit Building Authority to help developers navigate projects from start to finish.

DEGC optimizes properties for both prospective buyers and the city by utilizing a variety of tools, including:

  • Opportunity Zones – These areas can tip the scales to attract developers with new projects by providing immediate and tangible benefits.
  • Development Districts – Three areas in Detroit offer substantial potential for industrial, commercial, retail and residential development.
  • Strategic Neighborhoods – Throughout the City, neighborhoods are experiencing revitalization through public/private partnerships.

Opportunity Zones

Developers who invest in one of 70 designated areas in Detroit through an Opportunity Fund may be eligible for a deferment, or in some instances an exclusion, from capital gains tax.

Here’s how it works: The federal government developed this incentive in 2018 to catalyze development – residential, commercial and business – in economically-distressed communities that wouldn’t normally attract new investment. This tool is market driven and does not provide upfront cash relief. Instead, the program provides a deferral or, in some instances, exclusion from capital gains tax for certain investments made through Opportunity Funds and is designed to provide the most upside to those who hold their investment for 10 years. Opportunity Zones increase the attractiveness of equity investments in areas that otherwise don’t provide competitive returns, and can significantly help businesses and developers raise capital to invest in Detroit.

Qualifying low-income census tracts with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent are eligible to be designated as an “Opportunity Zone.”

Economic Innovation Group Logo

Economic Innovation Group (EIG)

EIG maintains up-to-date and useful Opportunity Zones resources, including the latest news, an activity map, facts & figures, FAQs, and more.

Development Districts

DEGC is focusing on the development of major economic development districts that offer substantial potential for industrial, commercial, retail and residential development. Through its focus on these districts, Detroit is improving the overall economic climate and quality of life for both Detroit’s residents and its visitors.

A large machine shop
Mt. Elliot Development District

At 3,203 acres, the Mt. Elliott Development District is the single-largest industrial district in Detroit. It encompasses a variety of industries including automotive, transportation and logistics. This district is home to stakeholders such as LINC Logistics and Flex-N-Gate Detroit. At the center of the Mt. Elliott zone is the I-94 Industrial Park, a 186-acre industrial site positioned near Detroit’s transportation infrastructure. The zone offers access to major transportation assets such as I-94, the Detroit North Rail Yard and Freight Rail. Mt. Elliott is the focus of an effort to increase and intensify modern industrial development, increase employment and reinforce the Detroit region’s role as a global hub for manufacturing.

Eastern Market Development District

The 1,130-acre Eastern Market Development District is a center of importing, processing and selling wholesale food. Though inclusive of a diverse variety of uses, including light industrial and the design arts, the zone is primarily dominated by food-related activities such Pepsi Bottling, Wolverine Packaging, Grobbels Corned Beef and Pellerito Foods. Eastern Market includes transportation assets such as I-94, I-75, freight rail, the Dequindre Cut pathway, and access to primary and secondary bus routes. Today, DEGC and the city are leading the charge to further elevate the market as one of the nation’s most comprehensive regional hubs using the Eastern Market Neighborhood Framework Study as a North Star. The two-year study, completed in 2019, details a path to expand food manufacturing and retail, increase job opportunities, and revitalize underutilized land adjacent to the existing core market. The goal is to create one square mile of vibrant, mixed-use space elevating food production and distribution that coexists with residential neighborhoods offering expanded amenities.

Eastern Market
East Riverfront Development District

Located east of downtown along the Detroit River is the approximately 90-acre East Riverfront Development District. Originally developed as an industrial and warehouse district, the area is now undergoing a transformation as it is redeveloped to be a premier residential district anchored by a mixture of commercial and retail development. When completed, the redevelopment will achieve the goal of building an international riverfront accessible to all Detroit residents and visitors, while enhancing mobility and safety through street improvements. This effort will play a major role in preserving the heritage of the riverfront while developing local businesses.

Detroit Strategic Neighborhoods

The City of Detroit has identified 10 neighborhoods that will receive focused revitalization efforts with the goal of improving streetscapes and walkability, kickstarting local business and adding or preserving affordable housing. Development projects located in these neighborhoods will enjoy increased density, strengthened commercial corridors and enhanced public infrastructure, such as roads and parks. 

DEGC has been actively assisting developers with projects throughout the 10 Strategic Neighborhoods, including Livernois/McNichols and Northwest Grand River.

Kuzzo's Chicken and Waffles and other shops
Livernois/McNichols

Streetscape infrastructure improvements are complete on Detroit’s historic Avenue of Fashion from Eight Mile Rd. to Margareta St. This includes removal of the Livernois median, expanded sidewalks, new bike lanes, landscaping, benches and signage. During construction, DEGC worked with the City and various philanthropic institutions to create a zero-interest loan program to provide flexible capital to qualifying small businesses located in the Livernois.

DEGC was instrumental in the $8.3 million B. Siegel development at Seven Mile Rd., which brings apartments, commercial space, and underground parking. Housing redevelopment, park improvements and a network of greenways connecting the University of Detroit Mercy and Marygrove College are all part of the project.

Northwest Grand River

Comprehensive revitalization that includes housing and retail development, Streetscape construction, park improvements, and green stormwater infrastructure is happening in Northwest Grand River. This area includes some of the first early twentieth century suburban neighborhoods – Grandmont and Rosedale Park – with architecturally significant residential property set within attractive park-like settings. A major supporter of redevelopment is TCF Bank, which is investing $5 million into the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood. This includes a new STEM lab for Cooke Elementary School, accessible play equipment, funding to aid small businesses and block clubs, solar-powered bus shelters on Grand River Ave., and a new branch bank to serve neighborhood needs.

A man and a woman shopping in Grandmont Rosedale

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