As we close the second quarter of 2019, we are amplifying assets–both financial and community-based–to foster communities of opportunity that create equity for all Detroiters. Read our latest stories to see how we have and how we continue to work toward inclusive, mixed-income neighborhoods in partnership with communities and organizations.
Amplifying Assets: Our 2018 Annual Report
Looking back at our journey through 2018, both as an organization and as a country, it is no surprise to us that Merriam-Webster’s “word of the year” was justice. The meaning and implications of justice were central to important conversations taking place in communities across the United States.
While we are pleased to see attention brought to this critical topic, justice – or the lack thereof – is an issue that we have wrestled with for decades. That is why justice – racial, social, economic – is core to our own mission and is a critical conversation that we seek to drive every day through our work.
In our 2018 Annual Report, read our stories and watch new videos featuring individuals and families who have been empowered to succeed. Also, see highlights of our continued impact as we seek equity, justice, and opportunity for all.
Lessons in Community Development: Woodward Corridor Investment Fund
During Detroit’s economic decline in the early 2000s, the city lost more than a third of its residents. Capital Impact launched the $30-million multi-investor Woodward Corridor Investment Fund (WCIF) in 2013 to increase density in Downtown and Midtown Detroit and begin to revitalize the city.
Through investments in key projects along the Woodward Corridor, we saw signs of progress. Our research also showed, however, that inclusive, equitable community development takes years and a variety of approaches to bring cities back.
Our latest blog shows how far critical investments have brought Detroit from where it was, and how much still remains to be done to revive the Motor City.
Advancing Equity and Opportunity: Equitable Development Initiative
The second cohort of our Equitable Development Initiative came to an exciting end as teams used lessons learned to present sample projects for how they would develop vacant parcels in Detroit’s Islandview neighborhood to an expert jury. While there were many inspirational ideas, we want to congratulate the winners:
Winning team: “SPIRIT” – developed by Ashley McLead, Duane Washington, and John Davis
Runner-up: “RETY” – developed by Essence Hiskman, John Truong, Ronald Weaver and Tracey Yurko
Many thanks to the program resource team, program advisors and jury, including:
EDI aims to build wealth in communities of color in Detroit by providing training, technical assistance mentorship, and project financing to real estate developers of color who are committed to Detroit’s revitalization. To date, Capital Impact has trained 47 individuals through the program and provided predevelopment financing to two projects in Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion and Virginia Park neighborhoods. Stay for updates on new sessions of the EDI program.
Bringing Mixed-Income Housing to the Kercheval Corridor
In May, we provided a $2.93 million construction loan as part of our Detroit Neighborhoods Fund (DNF) for the renovation and construction of the “Kercheval East,” a 16,000-square-foot mixed-use development. Kercheval East will deliver 15 new apartment units and approximately 3,300 sq. ft. of new commercial space along the Kercheval corridor in the Islandview/Villages neighborhoods, just east of several other Capital Impact investments.
Of the 10 one-bedroom units and 5 two-bedroom units, 20 percent will be affordable to households earning less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income. The new apartment units will bring increased density to the Kercheval corridor in alignment with the City of Detroit’s neighborhood strategy. Detroit Body Garage, a community gym, has already signed a lease within the building.
Fostering Inclusive Food Systems: Michigan Good Food Fund
Across the state, the Michigan Good Food Fund (MGFF) is empowering good food entrepreneurs to provide greater healthy food options for communities experiencing economic hardship. Through flexible capital and technical assistance, MGFF helps not only to expand healthy food options to communities, but invests in racial equity for small business owners and communities of color. Watch MGFF’s latest videos featuring Torti Taco and Zilke Vegetable Farm to see the impact that our investments are having for Michigan residents.
Connie joins Capital Impact with more than 20 years’ experience in commercial loan analysis, risk management and relationship management. She served as a small business lender and relationship manager for BB&T in Raleigh, NC for six years, before becoming a portfolio manager in the Special Assets division of Fifth Third Bank in Detroit, MI for the past nine years.
Connie will be responsible for managing Capital Impact’s ongoing loan relationships in the Detroit area. This includes managing day-to-day contact with borrowers, making sure that each relationship’s financial analysis and risk assessments are up to date. Connie has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of Vermont.
Did you know?: Connie has two rescue dogs that she adores from the Michigan Humane Society.
Favorite thing to do/See in Detroit: Connie and her husband regularly take their friends on biking tours of downtown Detroit called “Tour de Shaub.” The most recent one took them from the east side canals to the West Riverfront Park to Lumen restaurant in Beacon Park and to the new rooftop bar The Monarch Club.
Reg Ellis, Origination Loan Associate
Reg comes to Capital Impact with a background in the banking sector, including serving as a personal banker and portfolio banker, as well as a commercial analyst at a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). His former employer was part of the Detroit CDFI Coalition, which is where he learned about Capital Impact’s mission and great work in the area.
Reg is on track to become a loan officer. In his current role, he is on the frontier of new investment and revitalization for Detroit. Reg has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Oakland University and an MBA in Finance and Management from Wayne State University.
Did you know?: Reg is technically a biologist! Consider him your personal liaison to the World of Biology!
Favorite thing to do/see in Detroit: Reg’s favorite Detroit “thing” to do is visit Eastern Market to buy fresh fruit and lamb chops that are destined to be grilled.