7 minority developers target areas of Detroit for mixed-use, residential plans

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Seven minority, Detroit-based developers on track to have their projects funded via the Equitable Development Initiative, have now been announced to the world.

They are: Sauda Ahmad Green, Ron Bartell, Chase Cantrell, Damion Ellis, James Feagin IV, Jeanine Hatcher and Alisha Moss. Fox 2 is the first to report their names and the first to speak with one of the seven in the elite group.

Alisha Moss has big plans. She’s dynamic, energetic and dedicated to creating retail space that improves Detroit neighborhoods, especially by offering healthy food options.

A group of about 130 applicant developers was whittled down to 30, who are receiving formal training and one-on-one mentorship from local experts.

Seven of the 30 were selected for more intense mentorship and planned financial investment from the Nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution or NCDFI, Capital Impact Partners.

Capital Impact is “mission driven.” Their investments are strategic and have non-traditional lending priorities that focus on making sure low to moderate income people can have access to affordable housing, education, healthy food and health care, as well as other community improvement priorities. 

The Equitable Development Initiative, headed by Capital Impact, is specifically designed to see more minority real estate developers in a space that has historically been occupied by the majority.

Across the nation and in Detroit, projects led by minority developers are underrepresented. Capital impact for example, realized of the more than $150 million it loaned over nine years in Detroit, minority developers got one-tenth of that financing.

The program helps bridge the gap in a city that is overwhelmingly African-American.

While the details of the developers’ plans are still under wraps, program organizers say they gave priority to 6 to 20 residential unit, multi-family or mixed-used developments in areas that are considered strong corridors like West Village, the Woodward Corridor and the Avenue of Fashion on Livernois.