The Kresge Foundation and NCB Capital Impact, a community development finance institution, have announced the launch of the Woodward Corridor Investment Fund, a $30.25 million effort to provide capital for the redevelopment of Detroit's Woodward Corridor.
With support from MetLife, PNC Bank, Prudential, Living Cities, and the Calvert and Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher foundations, the fund will provide long-term fixed-rate loans to mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented projects that promote density, diversity, vibrancy, and walkability along Woodward Avenue.
"We know from market studies and from our revitalization work that there's pent up demand for mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented projects in Detroit's core," said Laura Trudeau, who leads Kresge's Detroit Program. "The Woodward Corridor is a diverse and vibrant area, but broader economic conditions have created conditions that have discouraged lenders."
By focusing on the corridor, which includes Detroit's Midtown neighborhood and is home to many of Detroit's largest institutions and employers, the fund aims to attract residents and commercial activity back to the downtown area, establish a sustainable development model, and expand economic opportunity for all residents of the city. The fund will begin accepting loan applications on October 1 and will announce initial loan approvals before the end of the year for projects slated to break ground by the end of 2014.
"Access to capital is critical to expanding opportunity, strengthening neighborhoods, and improving quality of life in our cities," said Kresge Foundation president Rip Rapson. "We know we need an array of tools to support the revitalization of our hometown. We also need creative partners. This fund is an example of all of those elements."