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Equitable Development Initiative launched to assist Detroit developers of color

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The two-year pilot will lend funds and offer guidance

Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

In Detroit’s recent development comeback, many are concerned about equitable development and representation. A new project aims at increasing the number of developers of color, and assisting in the development of mixed-use and multi-family properties throughout the city.

A two-year pilot project called the Equitable Development Initiative will help 15-20 developers gain access to capital for developments in Detroit. The $5 million program is led by Capital Impact Partners, with $500,000 from JP Morgan Chase.

Developers of color are often underrepresented in real estate development. Capital Impact recently realized that of the $152 million it loaned in Detroit between 2006 and 2015, projects led by developers of color received approximately 1/10th of that financing.

The program will provide capital, along with one-on-one mentorship and management training. The fund is aimed at increasing the number of small and mid-sized mixed-use and/or multi-family developments around the city.

To be eligible for the Equitable Development Initiative, participants must be developers of color from the Detroit area with some real estate development experience. Developers planning a 6-20 residential unit, multi-family, or mixed-use development located in strong corridors in the city’s targeted redevelopment areas will be given priority. Developers without a planned project will also be considered for the program.

Capital Impact will also finance some of the real estate development projects led by program participants over the next two years. Applications for the Equitable Development Initiative are available online here.