Governor, Mayor, Owners & Others Break Ground on $29.3 Million Dr. Violet T. Lewis Village Development, Bringing 100+ Affordable Homes to Seniors in Detroit

  • Redevelopment of former Lewis College of Business site – Michigan’s only Historically Black College and University (HBCU)


Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Mayor Mike Duggan, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Michigan House Speaker Joe Tate, State Representative Regina Weiss, State Senator Mallory McMorrow and other City and State officials joined Dr. Violet Ponders, granddaughter of college founder Dr. Violet T. Lewis and other family members; Amy Albery, CEO, Wallick, the owner-developer; Roger Myers, CEO, and Board of Directors Vice Chair Ken Hollowell of Presbyterian Villages of Michigan (PVM); and other partners today to break ground on the $29.3 million Dr. Violet T. Lewis Village affordable senior apartment community.  Dr. Violet T. Lewis Village will be located on the site of the former Lewis College of Business, Michigan’s only Historically Black College and University (HBCU), at 17370 Meyers Road in Detroit.

“Every Michigander deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I’m excited to be here for the groundbreaking of the Dr. Violet T. Lewis Village, a 105-unit affordable housing development on the site of the former Lewis College of Business. Affordable housing provides stability to families, which has been shown to improve their health, allows them to live closer to their jobs, and frees up money they can spend in their communities. Let’s keep making the largest investments in housing in Michigan history and pursue our strategy of build, baby, build!” 

Village development pic1


This development is honoring the past while building the future by renovating two historic structures on the Lewis College of Business site and constructing a new, four-story building. The project is being co-developed by Wallick of New Albany, Ohio, and Southfield-based Presbyterian Villages of Michigan (PVM).

“Over the past five years, the City and its partners have invested more than $1 billion in affordable housing in Detroit and Dr. Violet T. Lewis Village is an important piece of that accomplishment. This project will honor the legacy of Dr. Lewis and the HBCU that bore her name, while making sure more than 100 longtime Detroit residents who helped build this city have access to quality affordable housing for many years to come,” said Mayor Mike Duggan.

Village development pic2


Funding for the project is provided in large part through competitive federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), with critical gap funding from MSHDA, the City of Detroit – HOME and American Rescue Plan Act funds, The Kresge Foundation, Merchants Capital Security Bank, First Merchants Bank and Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis.

“Much of the financing for Dr. Violet T. Lewis Village is from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. This federal program provides tax incentives to enable developers to build or rehabilitate apartments in exchange for the commitment that they stay affordable to lower-income residents. It is our nation’s most successful tool to encourage private investment that preserves and expands affordable rental housing,” said Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12). “This includes preserving or building nearly 4,700 affordable homes here in the 12th Congressional District and more than 116,000 across Michigan.”

Dr. Violet T. Lewis Village will be 100% affordable, with apartment rents ranging from 30-80% of area median income (AMI). Rents will be determined by income and range from $427 to $983 a month. The units are income-restricted and for those making $20,160 to $69,120 a year. 

Specifically, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the new construction building ranges from $783 to $840, and rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $983. The AMI income restriction for the new build apartments is 60% of AMI, $40,320  a year.

In the adaptive reuse buildings, rent for a one-bedroom apartment ranges from $427 to $786, and rent for a two-bedroom apartment range from $723 to $939. The AMI income restriction for the adaptive reuse buildings ranges from ranging from 30% to 80%, $20,160 to $69,120 a year.

Additionally, there are 5 project-based voucher apartments in the adaptive reuse buildings, which target people with even lower incomes. 

Village development pic3
As part of the project, two building located on the site of the former Lewis College of Business will be transformed to include 32 apartment homes. A new 4-story building with 73 apartments will also be built.


“Our team is rehabilitating two of the buildings that were part of the college’s campus. When complete, there will be 32 apartment homes as part this adaptive reuse. A new 4-story building with 73 apartments also will be built. In all there will be 105 safe, stable affordable homes for seniors in Detroit,” said Wallick CEO Amy Albery.

“PVM is extremely pleased to be partnering with Wallick in this important neighborhood development.  The historic Dr. Violet T. Lewis Village represents PVM’s 11th senior living community in Detroit.  We deeply appreciate the tremendous support from numerous diverse stakeholders in making this wonderful private, non-profit, public and philanthropic collaborative community development possible,” said Roger Myers, PVM’s President & CEO.

“We are preserving Black history in Detroit for generations of future Michiganders. Dr. Violet T. Lewis Village will be a shining example of honoring history and building the future,” said Michigan Speaker of the House of Representative Joe  Tate.

Construction is anticipated to take 16 months, weather permitting. Learn more or fill out an application by calling 313-270-9150 or at

About Lewis College of Business – The school was founded in 1928 by Dr. Violet T. Lewis as the Lewis Business College in Indiana and was later reorganized as the Lewis College of Business. Due to segregation laws at the time, private and post-secondary schools didn’t accept African-American students. The Detroit branch of the school was opened in 1939 on Ferry Street and John R and expanded to over 300 daily students through the 1940s and 1950s. The college offered courses in typewriting, bookkeeping, stenography, penmanship, and office management. In 1976, the college moved to this campus on Meyers Road – a location that was previously home to the Detroit Bible Institute, which opened these buildings in 1950. Lewis College of Business was designated by the U.S. Secretary of Education as an HBCU in 1987 and was the only HBCU in Michigan. The campus has sat vacant since the college closed in 2013.

About PVM – Presbyterian Villages of Michigan spans hundreds of miles from the beautiful shores of Harbor Springs’ resort community to the elegant and inviting skyline of Detroit. By offering a wide variety of residential living options and home and community based services, PVM embraces and engages more than 7,500 seniors of all faiths and financial needs in and around villages conveniently located throughout the state. PVM is proud to present Michigan seniors with a full spectrum of residential and care options including apartments (affordable and income-qualified), condominiums, cottages, assisted living, Alzheimer’s/memory support services, rehabilitation (Transitional Care Units), skilled nursing care, Green Houses®, as well as essential services like the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE Southeast Michigan)® and more.

About Wallick –  Wallick ( serves the affordable housing and senior living markets and operates five business divisions: Development, Construction, Asset Management, Affordable Housing Operations, and Senior Living Operations. With more than 1,100 associates, the company currently manages more than 200 affordable and senior communities across the Midwest, having developed and built more than 400 communities throughout its history. For nearly 60 years, the business has adhered to its founder Jack Wallick's ideals of integrity and consistent quality. Led by CEO Amy Albery and guided by its Board of Directors, Wallick is an employee-owned company.