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Work begins on “The Ribbon,” a new $8M mixed-use affordable housing project in East English Village

2023
  • LISC Detroit, Invest Detroit, and Detroit developer Edward Carrington announce a new construction project creating 18 apartments that will be guaranteed at affordable rates for the next 25 years.
  • All 18 units available for rent at or below 80% AMI
  • Project made possible thanks to the Strategic Neighborhood Fund (SNF) and Detroit Housing for the Future Fund (DHFF)
  • New streetscape set stage for largest investment in decades along E. Warren corridor

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, members of Detroit City Council and Detroit developer Edward Carrington of Flux City Development today broke ground on a new multi-use affordable housing development on Detroit’s east side.  The $8.2 million development called “The Ribbon” is the largest development along the E. Warren Ave. corridor in decades and will bring another 18 units of brand-new affordable housing to Detroit.    

The Ribbon is the first project from Edward Carrington and Flux City Development, an emerging developer of color based in Detroit. The new development will provide 18 new affordable apartments, all below market rate to make them affordable to Detroiters living in the area.  Fourteen of the apartments will rent at or below 80% AMI, while four of the units will be available at or below 60% AMI. Under the terms of the agreement, affordability of the apartments is guaranteed for the next 25 years.

“The Ribbon is bringing much needed affordable housing to the area, as well as real excitement and momentum to this important commercial corridor on East Warren.” said Mayor Duggan. “East English Village and Morningside residents will be able to enjoy new retail, restaurants, and the new streetscape being built here, thanks to investments from the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund and Strategic Neighborhood Fund.”

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Mayor Mike Duggan speaks at the groundbreaking for The Ribbon, an apartment building bringing 18 units of affordable housing to the East Warren corridor.

 

In addition to the residential space, retail on the first floor will be occupied by a local foodie favorite, Gajiza Dumplings, which will make the Ribbon its first permanent home. Demolition of an existing former bank building on the site was recently completed, and construction on The Ribbon is expected to be complete in the Fall of 2024.

“I can’t think of a better first project for Flux City.” said Carrington. “I am grateful for the support of both the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund and the Strategic Neighborhood Fund and other partners that helped make this a reality. I’m also thankful for the support of my new neighbors along the East Warren corridor. This is going to be the place to be in Detroit.”  

"For 18 years, I've lived two blocks from this location and I can remember so many years when this was a blighted corridor and we were doing everything we could to salvage properties. Initially, we probably thought it was all for naught, but we're here today," said Council Member Latisha Johnson. "It took all of us coming together collectively and intentionally to ensure we are revitalizing our neighborhood commercial corridors. Detroiters do development differently as evidenced by the deep affordability in a market of rising rental rates and property values."

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Developer Eddy Carrington is excited to embark on this project, and can't wait to help further revitalize this Detroit neighborhood.

 

Funding from SNF and DHFF

The $8.2 million redevelopment was made possible by $600,000 in loans from the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund. The Strategic Neighborhood Fund also provided a $1.4 million grant to the development. The development also received $338,199 in DHFF Preferred Equity, $2.2 million from Capital Impact Partners, CIP EDI grant of $75,000, and $1.3 million investment from Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

In addition, the project qualified for a DHFF Developers of Color Matching Grant, designed to grow the pipeline of minority-led affordable housing and preservation projects in Detroit.  It offers up to $100,000 in matching funds to cover a portion of a project’s predevelopment expenses and soft costs. The grants are made possible through a partnership with JPMorgan Chase.

“DHFF and LISC Detroit are succeeding in expanding affordable housing options for Detroiters” said Camille Walker Banks, executive director of LISC Detroit. “Just as important, the Developers of Color Grants are ensuring that Detroiters and people of color have real opportunities to be the builders of these spaces.”

DHFF, a private investment fund aimed at directing capital to creating new and preserving existing affordable housing in Detroit, is anchored by a $15 million commitment from JPMorgan Chase of the fund’s total $58 million raise and a $10 million guarantee from The Kresge Foundation. DHFF is managed by LISC Fund Management, LLC, a subsidiary of Local Initiatives Support Corporation. LISC Detroit sources and originates loans for DHFF. DHFF is a part of the larger Affordable Housing Leverage Fund, which is an initiative with the City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). Including the Ribbon, the DHFF has now funded 13 projects totaling 435 new or preserved affordable units in the city. 

The Ribbon is also partially funded out of Detroit’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund, a $150 million initiative launched in 2016 by Mayor Duggan and Invest Detroit with a focus on leveraging investments in four key areas: improving parks, streetscapes, commercial corridors and single-family housing. All along the way, the plans are guided by resident input, empowering them to decide the future of their neighborhoods.

The fund was piloted with a $42 million investment in three initial neighborhood areas: Livernois/McNichols, Southwest/Vernor and Islandview/Greater Villages. Two years later, the SNF initiative was expanded to seven more areas and funded by an investment of $5 million each from seven corporations: American Axle, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Chemical Bank, Fifth Third, Flagstar Bank, Huntington, and Penske. Blue Cross Blues Shield of Michigan is the corporate sponsor for the East Warren/Cadieux area of SNF.

“Providing sustainable, equitable solutions to improve the East Warren/Cadieux neighborhood has been a key focus for us as a strategic neighborhood partner,” said Ken Hayward, vice president and special assistant to the president for Community Relations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “The Ribbon development has brought many stakeholders to the table to identify how we can best help residents and their families, and this project affirms our commitment to bridging disparity gaps and improving the health and well-being for everyone.”

Community engagement is an important component of any project that falls under SNF.  Neighborhood residents and organizations are consulted on projects, and the types of developments they feel would be most beneficial to the neighborhood.   

“This is one of the most significant changes to the landscape here in decades” said Joe Rashid, executive director of the East Warren Development Corporation. “We already are seeing renewed interest in commercial leasing due to the streetscape improvements.  The Ribbon will add a lot of new neighbors and more excitement to the area, and those of us in East English Village and Morningside can’t wait to welcome them.” 

“We appreciate the opportunity to highlight the continuing work of the SNF” said Keona Cowan, executive vice president of lending for Invest Detroit. “By thinking about the whole neighborhood, from affordable housing, equitable development, placemaking, recreation and more, we are creating a Detroit that really has something for everyone.” 

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Donald Rencher, Matt McCauley, Keona Cowan, Camille Walker Banks, Eddy Carrington, Ken Hayward, Latisha Johnson, Mary Waters and Joe Rashid "break ground" on The Ribbon.

 

The Ribbon housing pic4

 

About Flux City

Built on a strong commitment to the community, Flux City utilizes the local talent of acclaimed architects and designers, fully licensed and prequalified general contractors, and an experienced management team to build, design and construct a wide variety of adaptable real estate projects. Flux City specializes in identifying and acquiring undervalued, and often overlooked, commercial and residential real estate that can be re-developed and leased or sold in order to bring the highest rates of return for its investors. Flux City has over 20 years of combined experience in building and revitalizing real estate in greater Detroit area communities.

About LISC Detroit

LISC Detroit is a local organization founded in 1990, within the Local Initiatives Support Corporation network that includes 38 offices in urban areas across the country as well as a rural office that serves more than 44 states. National LISC, founded in 1980, is the largest national community development financial intermediary, combining corporate, government, and philanthropic resources to help community-based organizations revitalize their neighborhoods.

LISC’s mission is that every low-income community has the chance to thrive. LISC equips struggling communities with the capital, strategy, and know-how to become places where people can thrive. Working with local leaders we invest in housing, health, education, public safety, and employment — all basic needs that must be tackled at once so that progress in one is not undermined by neglect in another. Sharing our expertise of 41 years, we bring together key local players to take on pressing challenges and incubate new solutions. With them, we help develop smarter public policy. Our toolkit is extensive. It includes loans, grants, equity investments and on-the-ground experience in some of America’s neediest neighborhoods.

About the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund

DHFF is managed by LISC Fund Management, LLC, a subsidiary of Local Initiatives Support Corporation. LISC Detroit sources and originates loans for DHFF. DHFF is a part of the larger Affordable Housing Leverage Fund, which is an initiative with the City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department and the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority. DHFF deploys flexible loan capital and private grants to complement and leverage public investment through the City of Detroit and Michigan State Housing Development Authority as well as tax credits and other existing affordable housing finance tools.

For more information on the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund and funding opportunities, please visit https://www.detroithousingforthefuturefund.org/ or https://www.liscstrategicinvestments.org/detroit-housing-for-the-future-fund

For investor inquiries and more information about LISC Fund Management, LLC, please visit https://www.liscstrategicinvestments.org/fund-management

For more information about the DHFF and the Developers of Color programs, go to www.detroithousingforthefuturefund.org.

About Invest Detroit

Invest Detroit is a mission-driven nonprofit lender, investor, and partner that supports business and real estate projects that will ignite economic growth in Detroit and the region. Their goal is to increase density and job opportunities in a way that is strategic and inclusive. Learn more at www.InvestDetroit.com.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, provides health benefits to nearly 5.2 million members. The company is committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses and individuals. Based in Detroit since 1939, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care across Michigan. BCBSM is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit BCBSM.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com