Find answers below to the most frequently asked questions about conducting economic development in the city of Detroit.
To buy City-Owned property follow the instructions below:
When thinking about purchasing a City-Owned parcel for development, you should highlight the following in your application:
The City is committed to supporting the redevelopment of vacant multifamily properties in Detroit. If you are interested in redeveloping a vacant multifamily property (+4 units) click here for a list of financial potential resources.
Certain incentives and resources are limited to properties located in the City's targeted multifamily areas. Developers of both market-rate and affordable housing, whether standalone or as part of a mixed-use development, are encouraged to focus in these areas.
To explore potential development opportunities for vacant multifamily properties, check out the Opportunity Map and filter for vacant multifamily.
If you are interested in a City-Owned, vacant multifamily property explore City-Owned Parcels and fill out the application.
As the city grows, we have created policies to ensure a One City. For All of Us. To support this vision there are several policies that effect development:
In 2016, the Detroit City Council adopted an ordinance to establish requirements for the inclusion of affordable rental units in residential projects that receive some form of direct financial assistance from the City. The ordinance is intended to promote the development of economically integrated housing opportunities with affordable units made available to Detroit’s low - and very low-income households earning 50-80% of the Area Median Income for a term of 30 years.
The full text of the ordinance, including relevant definitions, specific transactions that are subject to the ordinance, and enforcement information, is available here.
In the November 2016 election, voters approved a Community Benefits Ordinance to ensure “community outreach and engagement that promotes transparency and accountability and ensures development projects in the City of Detroit benefit and promote economic growth and prosperity for all residents.”
There are two classes of development projects that are subject to this ordinance:
The full text of the ordinance is available here.
The Planning and Development Department maintains a website summarizing the Community Benefits Ordinance process for active projects is available here.
It is the City of Detroit’s policy to encourage and maximize the employment of Detroit residents on publicly-funded (in whole or in part) construction projects by requiring that all City of Detroit construction contracts provide that at least 51% of the hours worked on the project must be Detroit residents based on the total number of work hours.
The City of Detroit offers assistance with recruiting and hiring Detroit residents to employers. The City also offers free training programs and support services to jobseekers. For more information or assistance with recruiting and hiring efforts, refer to Detroit At Work.
For assistance complying with local hiring requirements, refer to the Department of Civil Rights, Inclusion, and Opportunity
WHAT IS ZONING?
Zoning is the legal tool that most cities use to govern “uses” (e.g. residential, commercial, or industrial), the size of buildings, and how buildings relate to their surroundings, including other buildings, open spaces, and the street
WHAT TYPES OF ZONING ARE IN DETROIT?
Detroit has 29 zoning classifications, broken down into residential, commercial, industrial, and special purpose districts. There are also overlay areas that have geography-specific regulations.
WHAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ABOUT ZONING?
WHEN DO I NEED PETITION ZONING?
Petition zoning for conditional uses and for uses outside of what the zoning guidelines allow.
Below is the process that you will encounter if you need to petition zoning:
Follow the process below and click here for more information to the zoning code.
To learn more about zoning, check out the opportunity map and select the zoning layer to understand current zoning areas in Detroit.
In order to obtain a business license, check out the steps as outlined by the Buildings Safety, Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED) here.
Entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their businesses generally face two major hurdles: finding the right space and bridging financial gaps that might prohibit their public opening. Motor City Match helps business owners address both. Its goal: help start new, permanent businesses in Detroit’s commercial corridors by providing assistance throughout the business start-up and building renovation process.
Motor City Match is a unique partnership between the DEGC, City of Detroit, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as Southeast Michigan financial institutions, foundations and corporations. We connect new and expanding businesses with Detroit’s quality real estate opportunities, providing funding and tools to fuel the city’s entrepreneurial revolution. The program also provides competitive grants, loans and counseling to help both building and business owners become successful.
Motor City Re-Store is a quarterly business competition that supports Detroit’s existing neighborhood businesses with grants to fund exterior facade improvements. The program gives business owners a boost in curb appeal, making city commercial corridors more walkable, more attractive and better for business. Eligible businesses must be open and operating in a commercial storefront. Program resources include:
To learn details on financial support for your development via public subsidy, low interest loans and/or abatements check out the Financing section of this website.