Duggan helps break ground on The Brooke on Bagley, an SNF project bringing more affordable housing to SW Detroit 


Duggan helps break ground on The Brooke on Bagley, an SNF project bringing more affordable housing to SW Detroit 

  • 20% of 78 apartments reserved for residents at 80% area median income.
  • Project from Detroit-based Woodborn Partners is also the first to tap new Ebiara fund for developers of color. 

DETROIT – Mayor Mike Duggan joined developer Woodborn Partners and residents of Southwest Detroit today to break ground on The Brooke on Bagley, a new mixed-use and mixed-income development as part of the Strategic Neighborhood Fund initiative. 

The $23 million development at 2420 Bagley St. will replace a vacant lot on the northwest corner of Bagley and 16th streets with 78 apartments and 2,105 square feet of retail. Sixteen of the units will be set aside as affordable housing at 80 percent area median income (AMI). There will be 38 one-bedrooms, three two-bedrooms and 37 studio apartments. Residents will have amenities such as on-site staff, electric vehicle charging stations, and indoor and outdoor recreational space featuring a fire pit, plus local art, murals, and photography. The two-tiered outdoor space and the indoor lounge will also be open to the community for special events.  

“As we continue to beautify and strengthen neighborhoods across Detroit, we have made a promise to keep creating opportunity and making Detroit a more equitable city,” said Mayor Duggan. “This is how we are rebuilding our city as a place of beauty where any Detroiter can afford to live in any neighborhood they choose.” 

Led by Clifford A. Brown, Woodborn Partners is a full-service, Detroit-headquartered development company, with a track record of successful similar developments, such as The Coe at West Village and The Scott in Midtown. The Brooke is named for Brown’s 14-year-old daughter “as an expression of my commitment to the project and the community,” he said.  

“I am so excited to become a part of such a welcoming and vibrant community. We love the city of Detroit, its residents and we feel the same for Hubbard Richard and the Mexicantown business district,” Brown said. “I can’t imagine a better location for The Brooke.” 

The development brings much-needed quality affordable housing to the thriving Southwest Detroit community. It will be located in the shadow of Ford Motor Co.’s renovation of the historic Michigan Central Station and along the Southwest Greenway, connecting residents to both the award-winning Detroit riverfront and the Joe Louis Greenway that is now under construction. It will rise across the street from the popular Honeybee Market and near a number of beloved Mexicantown restaurants and less than a mile from Corktown and all of its shops and restaurants. 

Community engagement played a key role in The Brooke’s development. Woodborn held multiple community meetings, surveyed residents about what kind of retail they would like to see in the building, and ensured all informational literature was bilingual for Spanish-speaking neighbors. After those conversations, The Brooke’s business center will be made available and free to use for community organizations. 

The Strategic Neighborhood Fund was launched in 2014 in three neighborhoods, which expanded to 10 in 2018. The SNF is a $150 million private-public partnership between the City of Detroit and the nonprofit Invest Detroit funded by six corporate funders and several philanthropic organizations to invest in housing stabilization, improving parks, commercial corridors, streetscapes, and equitable opportunities for local business owners of color. Other SNF projects in the Southwest/Vernor SNF area include a $3.3 million makeover for Clark Park that is well under way, a $2.5 million streetscape for Bagley Street that was completed in 2020, and a $4.6 million renovation of The Murray, a long-vacant rowhouse that reopened last year as 12 units of affordable and market-rate housing. 

“The Strategic Neighborhood Fund has been a catalyst for creating equitable development projects in Detroit,” said Keona Cowan, executive vice president of lending for Invest Detroit. “The goal of SNF is to support projects that benefit all Detroiters by providing more housing options in neighborhoods, ensuring there are affordable places to live in the city, and increasing access to jobs in residents’ own communities. We want all Detroiters to benefit from the positive changes taking place in neighborhoods all over the city.”   

The Brooke is also the first project to tap the $11 million Ebiara fund, which was launched in July through a partnership between nonprofit Invest Detroit and consulting firm URGE Imprint, with the Kresge Foundation providing the funding. 

 “The Brooke on Bagley is the first project that Ebiara has partnered with” said Roderick Hardamon, CEO and chief strategist for URGE Imprint, which cofounded the Ebiara Fund. “Ebiara exists to help combat the challenges that minority developers face when trying to grow their business. Cliff Brown and Woodborn Partners have a great track record of success, and we are proud to partner with them to see this project completed and build their business even further.”   

In addition to the SNF and Ebiara, the development was made possible through financial partners Capital Impact Partners, the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., the Impact Developer’s Fund through TruFund, the Ford Foundation and Morgan Stanley. 

The general contractor on The Brooke is Detroit-based Sachse Construction. Gensler Detroit is the architect. 

About Woodborn Partners 

Woodborn Partners is a certified Detroit-based and Minority Business Enterprise development company founded in 2009 by lifelong friends Christopher Earley and Cliff Brown, who wanted to change people’s lives and build better communities through Real Estate Development and believed there was a way to monetize building stronger communities that were more than buildings. They believe that if you can build lives and focus on the development of communities while remaining disciplined and understanding the core fundamentals of the business, wealth will come.