- Project to include rental units with 20 percent affordable, for-sale units, parking, retail
- 5.2-acre Lafayette West project subject to Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance
- Developer required to work with community representatives over the next two months to develop community benefits agreement
A $108 million project planned in the Lafayette Park neighborhood will bring 374 new residential units, parking and amenities to the neighborhood. The residential units will include both for-rent and for-sale lofts, townhouses, flats and high-rise units. And at least 20 percent of the rental units will be set aside as affordable.
The development, currently referred to as Lafayette West, will be subject to the City’s Community Benefits Ordinance, which requires a community engagement process for the development to move forward. The project is also subject to Executive Order 2016-1, which requires that 51 percent of the hours worked on the construction must be performed by verified Detroit residents, or that the developer contributes to the city’s Workforce Training Fund to build the pool of skilled trade workers who live in the city.
“As Detroit’s recovery continues, we want to make sure big developments like Lafayette West benefit not just new residents, but also the people of Detroit who have stayed through the good times and the bad,” said Arthur Jemison, chief services and infrastructure officer. “From hiring Detroiters for construction and funding workforce training programs, to providing affordable housing, to convening neighbors to negotiate benefits for the community, we are working to ensure Detroit’s recovery works for everybody.”
New construction in the neighborhood
Ginosko Development Company, a Michigan-based developer with a strong track record in the creation and preservation of quality housing projects, will invest $108 million in Lafayette West for new construction on 5.2 acres of land between I-375 and Rivard Street, where the vacant Shapero Hall is currently located. The hall will be demolished and Ginosko will build a mix of new structures on the site, including a 12-story high-rise with 114 luxury rental units and attached parking, 200 lofts for rent, also with enclosed parking, and 60 for-sale townhouses, carriage houses and stacked flats with attached garages.
The development will feature green space amenities and add to the walkable environment in Lafayette Park. Every unit is designed to be within walking or biking distance to the Downtown area, major employment and recreational areas and neighborhood shopping. The project will also include a rooftop terrace, a fitness center and other market amenities. In all, the project will add 374 new residential units and approximately 490 new parking spaces to Lafayette Park.
“I truly believe in the saying ‘love your neighbor as you love yourself’, and if I were living in the impacted area of Lafayette West, I would want to know what’s going on in my neighborhood, and how I can participate. That is the exact intent of the CBO process and Executive Order 2016-1, which Ginosko Development Company respects and welcomes,” said Amin Irving, President & CEO of Ginosko Development Company. “We’ve been quietly on the rise for many years and I have grown to love this city and the people who make it amazing. I’m grateful for this unique opportunity to contribute to the momentum and progress currently unfolding.”
Putting Detroit’s recovery to work for Detroiters
Lafayette West will be subject to city policies designed to put big developments and investments to work for Detroiters, not just developers. Lafayette West will be subject to the following policies:
- The city’s Community Benefits Ordinance (CBO), which requires developers of projects over $75 million to engage with community members to negotiate a community benefits agreement. Ginosko will meet with community members this week to introduce the plan and receive initial input on the project. Later, a Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) will be established to negotiate benefits with the developer. The NAC consists of 9 members, who are selected by the Planning and Development Department, City Council and residents of the impacted area.
- Executive Order 2016-1, which requires that 51 percent of the construction hours worked on the project must be worked by Detroit residents, or a contribution to the city’s Workforce Training Fund. Due to the shortage of skilled trade workers in Detroit, the order allows for a contribution to the training fund that goes directly to programs that train the next generation of Detroit resident construction workers. That includes programs like Randolph Career Technical Center, which trains high school students in the skilled trades during the day, and adults on the same equipment after school lets out.
Building mixed-income neighborhoods
Lafayette West will also include an affordable housing program for residents, which will set aside 20 percent of the 314 rental units for households making 80 percent of area median income or lower. The area median income at 80 percent, set by federal housing rules, is about $38,000 a year. The preservation and creation of affordable housing is the cornerstone of Detroit’s growth strategy. Affordable housing offers stability for the city’s low-income residents and provides options to households at a range of incomes in all neighborhoods.
Timeline and how to get involved
Before construction can begin, the developer will meet with the community as part of the Community Benefits Ordinance process, which will include six meetings throughout the summer. The first meeting for residents will be Tuesday, July 3. Residents in the impact area received the first meeting notice in the mail last month and information on additional meetings will be shared online at DetroitMI.gov/PDD under the Community Benefits Ordinance tab.
Once the community benefits agreement is in place, Ginosko expects to break ground in early 2019. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.