Michigan Radio interviewed Sonya Mays, CEO of Develop Detroit, about ensuring the continued development of Detroit does not leave anybody behind.
“We’re saying that we believe that there’s a way to be very intentional and thoughtful and to partner with particularly residents who have been in a community the longest,” she explained. “I’m a big believer in the idea that healthy neighborhoods are diverse and inclusive neighborhoods.”
Ms. Mays pointed to similar “equitable development” projects in Harlem, New York City, and Washington, D.C. In Detroit, she said, the work could include “renovating an old apartment building with new elements like an early childhood education center or a grocery store, or constructing a new apartment building with street-level retail properties.”
In Detroit, efforts are underway in — or planned for — the Midtown and Eastern Market neighborhoods, with funding (at least for the next two or three years) from JPMorgan Chase, Ford Field and the Kresge Foundation.
Notably, Develop Detroit’s methodology goes beyond fighting gentrification in The D; it’s representative of a broader, international trend in commercial real estate, as documented one week ago by National Real Estate Investor:
Multifamily is likely to be a big component of densification… Adding day-time and night-time populations on site creates demand for grocery stores, restaurants, gyms and other service-oriented tenants.
Thus, it appears Develop Detroit’s efforts for good may also be good for Detroit businesses and the City’s economy.
[Listen to Ms. Mays’s interview with Michigan Radio, a part of the NPR digital network.]