In December 2018, it was announced that seven corporations contributed a total of $35 million to the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund, allowing it to add seven neighborhoods to its planning efforts.
At a press conference on April 22, city officials and representatives for Flagstar Bank announced that the bank’s $5 million contribution to the fund would be deployed in Old Redford on the city’s far northwest side. The city’s Northwest Neighborhood Framework plan was presented in July 2018, and presumably this commitment will fund future projects there.
”Old Redford is a proud Detroit community rich in potential,” said Sandro DiNello, CEO of Flagstar Bank, who grew up in the neighborhood. “The spirit of the community, combined with our commitment, has all the makings of a great partnership.”
Flagstar also touted some of its efforts in the community, including taking part in a homeownership fair, volunteering in cleanup efforts through Motor City Makeover, and helping to rehab two Detroit Land Bank homes with the goal of enabling renters to become homeowners.
The other six corporations—American Axle & Manufacturing, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Chemical Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Flagstar Bank, Huntington Bank, and Penske Corporation—will have their partner neighborhoods announced soon.
Old Redford, a roughly eight-square-mile swath of northwest Detroit whose epicenter is Grand River Avenue and Lahser Road, is part of the Planning and Development Department’s Northwest framework. Elements of the plan within Old Redford include extensive streetscaping on Grand River, rehabbing Holcomb Elementary, and housing stabilization.
The beloved Sidewalk Festival, a community-driven street festival showcasing local talent, takes place there every summer. Businesses in the mini-corridor on Lahser include The Redford Theatre, Motor City Java House, and Sweet Potato Sensations. Developers the Platform bought and plan on rehabbing the Obama Building, so-called because of the painting of the former president and first lady above the entrance, with plans to convert it into mixed-use commercial/residential.