By Mickey Lyons
etroit Mayor Mike Duggan, along with City Council members, community leaders and developer Clifford Brown, CEO of Woodborn Partners, broke ground this week on a $23 million development at 2420 Bagley Street. The Brooke on Bagley will be a mixed-use and mixed-income complex at the northwest corner of Bagley and 16th Street and is slated for completion in February 2024.
The Brooke will have 78 apartments, 20% of which will be reserved for residents with annual income at or below 80% of the area median income. The apartments will be divided into studio, one- and two-bedroom units. The complex will also feature 2,105 square feet of retail space. As part of Detroit’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund initiative, the project is the first to also use the new Ebiara fund for developers of color.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, District 6 Councilmember Gabriela Santiago-Romero told the audience that developer Clifford Brown and his partners worked closely with Southwest Detroit residents to design a project that reflected community needs and interests. “We wanted to make sure that everyone in the development is in communication with the community,” she said.
Brown told EL CENTRAL that he and his partners had performed several lengthy retail surveys and intend to keep the neighborhood’s residents active in the planning process for the retail space as well as for the indoor and outdoor community recreation spaces planned for the development. “We want to bring more residents to the neighborhood,” he says, “but residents who are sensitive to the fact that they’re coming to a neighborhood that has its culture, and they are respectful of that neighborhood.”
As part of Woodborn Partners’ community outreach, marketing materials for the building will continue to be published in both English and Spanish. The development’s business center will also be made available to community organizations free of charge. Brown says that “flourishes of the neighborhood” will be evident in the new development, including two new murals by Southwest Detroit artists, as well as a commitment to hiring locally. “You never want to come into a neighborhood and be disrespectful to that neighborhood,” he says, “especially because there’s this delicate balance between appropriation and being respectful.”
Funding for the project came from Invest Detroit and the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, a $150 million private-public partnership between the City of Detroit and Invest Detroit launched in 2014. The fund invests in housing stabilization, streets, parks and equitable opportunities for communities of color. The Brooke is also the first project to use funds from the $11 million Ebiara fund, supported by the Kresge Foundation, Invest Detroit and consulting firm URGE Imprint. The Ebiara fund was launched in July 2022 to help minority developers overcome barriers to growth. Other funders and partners include Capital Impact Partners, the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, the Impact Developer’s Fund through TruFund, the Ford Foundation and Morgan Stanley. Sachse Construction is the general contractor, and the architect of record is Gensler Detroit.