The far east side of Detroit is starting to get a steady drumbeat of good news.
Recently, we wrote about and took you inside the long-vacant Vanity Ballroom on East Jefferson, and told you about big plans for the historic space. Not to mention, the designation of the area as a national historic treasure. We’ve also kayaked it’s canals and told you about an apple orchard coming together.
Word comes today from the Kresge Foundation that they’re going to invest $3 million in seed money in the area through the Enterprise Community Loan Fund. Enterprise’s mission is to create opportunity for low- and moderate-income people through affordable housing as part of a 10 year commitment to the neighborhood that will, they plan, top $10 million.
Enterprise hopes to pair this money with local residents and businesses that are socially-minded to help ensure that the redevelopment of this area is equitable and available to those with a variety of economic circumstances.
We see the potential in Jefferson-Chalmers’ Main Street and we believe it is a community worth investing in. We know that life-long residents, small business owners, iconic buildings like the Vanity Ballroom, and community partners like Jefferson East are worth supporting.
The Enterprise loan fund is no stranger to Detroit. They’ve already invested $4.5 million in the city. They’ve done $2.75 million in development financing through the Detroit Development Fund, $500,000 in Section 4 funding for local partners to build capacity, provided technical assistance to the Detroit Land Bank Authority and to various city departments, including the Housing and Revitalization Department, Office of Grants Management and the Planning and Development Department.
The Kresge Foundation Social Investment Practice, according to their website, invests in projects that bring both a social and financial return. The foundation has committed to investing $350 million in social investments across the country by 2020.
Six Community Development Finance Institutions from around the country received $14 million in investments today. The Kresge Foundation plans to award up to $30 million in financing and up to $1.5 million in grants through KCF to at least 15 organizations, with more announcements coming in 2017.