With Midtown residential units at 97% capacity, developers are moving into buildings in the area and rehabilitating some of the city's prettiest (derelict) apartment houses. New windows are in at the Strathmore, Rainer Court (711 Alexandrine) will welcome tenants beginning in September, and New York developer Brandon Duckett says his 1922 building at 678 Selden St will start renting by year's end. JP Morgan Chase has a $100 million commitment to invest capital in community development in Detroit and is using some of that money for smaller buildings—those with 20 or fewer units. JP Morgan helped fund the Rainer Court's rehabilitation, and the firm providing that labor at the site is a family-owned Michigan business.
Sources close to these projects tell Curbed Detroit that the idea behind this kind of apartment creation is to work from the "bleeding edges" of successfully developed areas and to work on the affordability issue by creating work opportunities in the area, rather than by insisting on maintaining poverty-level housing at any cost. JP Morgan also wants to focus resources on transportation-oriented housing, and has contributed to the M-1 Rail project as part of that commitment.
Whether JP Morgan Chase and other players in local development can maintain promises of intelligent gentrification and replacement (not displacement) remains to be seen. Walk-throughs at Rainer Court begin in August, and Duckett, who is calling the Selden project the H.R. Finn Apartments, says the building will be occupied by early 2016, with pre-leasing to start in this November.
·Report on Greater Detroit [Detroit 7.2]
·Strathmore Shows Off New Windows [Curbed Detroit]
·Vacant Finn Apartments Catch Rehab Bug [Curbed Detroit]
·JP Morgan's $100 Million Commitment to Detroit [JP Morgan Chase]
·Duckett puts $3.7 Million into Finn Apartments [MLive]