$1.5B plan to build District Detroit, including affordable housing, receives crucial sign-off

Neighborhood Advisory Council signed community benefits package worth $167 million

DETROIT – Neighborhood Advisory Council signed a community benefits package worth $167 million

The $1.5 billion plan to build District Detroit got a significant sign-off Monday.

Part of that deal was a commitment to the surrounding neighborhoods and the city, including everything from affordable housing to parking.

“We shared with them many of the promises that were made and not kept,” said NAC chairman for District Detroit CBA Chris Jackson. “That was our starting point.”

Years after Little Caesars Arena was built, a new deal with developers could transform the area known as District Detroit. The Neighborhood Advisory Council signed a community benefits package worth $167 million.

“The last deal of District Detroit did leave a bad taste in people’s mouths, and they have a long memory where that’s concerned,” said Downtown Detroit resident Deirdre Jackson.

“We said, ‘You’re a developer, we don’t want to add a new tax’ you’re going to spend a billion five,” Chris Jackson said. “It’s how intentional you are with that billion-five.”

The agreement includes the following:

  • $100 million for disadvantaged Detroit-based businesses
  • 20% of new units will be affordable housing
  • And a partnership with Detroit At Work to hire qualified Detroiters.

“These are really historical things that can be transformational for the city,” said NAC member and Brush Park resident Eddie Hall.

District Detroit plans to develop 10 new buildings, creating 12,000 construction jobs.

“If nothing gets built, no benefits are given,” Hall said.

“You don’t get those tax breaks on the front end and not perform,” Chris Jackson said.

“This new partner, I’m optimistic, will hopefully make the broken promises complete,” Deirdre Jackson said.

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.