(CBS Detroit) — It was announced that an old auto-plant-turned-recycling-center will be converted into a community for artists.
This development is a $20 million project, called Dreamtroit, that will turn the area into affordable housing and 38,000 square feet of retail and commercial space for a market, restaurants, and more. The former factory and buildings located at 1331 Holden St. in Detroit will be turned into 81-unit development, with 58 of the 81 units being used for affordable housing.READ MORE: Chamber Of Commerce Asks To End Extra Unemployment Benefits
Seventeen of the affordable units will be reserved for households at or below 50 percent area median income, 41 units at 80 percent AMI, and the remaining below the workforce housing level of 120 percent AMI.
The apartments will feature 13-foot ceilings, huge industrial windows, flex space, an innovative design to maximize floor space. They will come in a variety of loft units, including one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, studios, and studios with communal kitchens. Other amenities will include an indoor event space, a workshop, and a coffee shop, as well as ample on-site parking.
Rent continues to rise across the city of Detroit, and Matt Naimi and Oren Goldenberg saw the opportunity to create a space where artists could live and create at an affordable rate.
“We believe it is the people and the culture that push our city into the future,” said Naimi, founder of Recycle Here. “For the past 12 years, we have been bringing people together through public programming, public space, environmentalism, and art. We are ensuring that the working class, artists, and innovators will continue to have a home and a platform to build the next generation of Detroit’s cultural and technological revolution while offering affordable housing to those who make Detroit such a unique and creative place.”
Artists add to the character and spirit of the city, so Naimi and Goldenberg wanted to help provide support for their community.
“We believe we should be able to live affordably in the city of Detroit and be entrenched in the amazing culture of our city,” Goldenberg said. “This project is about reimagining old structures in new ways and contributing to Detroit’s reinvention of itself and its icons.”
The popular Lincoln Street Art Park will continue to play a key role after construction is completed and will continue to host art and social events.
Make Art Work, the nonprofit entity that runs the art park and puts on its programming will continue to serve that function and will also be in charge of the interactivity and beautification of the entire property as the Dreamtroit project unfolds. Make Art Work provides a foundation to preserve and grow Detroit as a place for artists to explore the future, create the avant-garde, and form a strong, long-lasting community. It provides artist support programs, such as physical space for artists and environmentalists to experiment, take risks, push beyond fears and “share their candy.”READ MORE: AAA: Michigan's Average Gas Prices Rise To $2.95
“To anyone worried that this will change what can happen here, we are committed to keeping things ‘weird,’” said Goldenberg, who is also a filmmaker. “We have spent countless hours working out how we can maintain the culture that we and Detroit love while still renovating these buildings into a safe, quality place to live and create.”
Dreamtroit will be an ideal spot for artists location-wise, as it is within walking distance of the Fisher Building and New Center-area bars, restaurants, and more. It is also within walking distance from Wayne State University and just 4 miles north of downtown.
As part of the redevelopment, Recycle Here!, Detroit’s destination for recycling for 15 years, has been moved to the Lincoln Street side of the property. It will feature an improved facility and new programming and educational opportunities.
In late February, the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund (DHFF) closed on $2.26 million in financing commitments for the Dreamtroit project. The DHFF, an investment fund to direct $75 million in capital to affordable housing in Detroit, launched in October with an initial capitalization of $48 million, anchored by a $15 million commitment from JPMorgan Chase and a $10 million guarantee from The Kresge Foundation.
DHFF is managed by LISC Detroit and part of the larger Affordable Housing Leverage Fund, which is a partnership with the City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department. Dreamtroit is the third project to be announced since the fund’s launch last fall.
“Creating housing affordability for all in Detroit is foundational to ensuring safe, healthy places to thrive and grow,” said Tahirih Ziegler, LISC Midwest program vice president. “The Dreamtroit project will create quality, affordable housing for artists and others, continuing the city’s role of being a home for visionary creatives. We are proud to support them in their mission.”
The Dreamtroit project transformation is expected to be completed in early 2022.
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