DETROIT, MI - The Regis Houze, the first project of the Capital Impact Partners-managed Woodward Corridor Investment Fund, held its ribbon-cutting ceremony in a prime location just off Woodward Avenue in the New Center area of Detroit.
The $4-million development led by Barbat Holdings brings much needed workforce housing and retail space to an area where occupancy rates have hovered at 98 percent.
The six-story building, connected to the St. Regis Hotel on W. Grand Blvd, was originally constructed in 1966 and had been vacant for many years. Barbat Holdings stabilized and renovated the building to create 58 apartments, with rents that will begin at $543 a month, as well as two retail spaces on the ground floor.
"We're excited to bring much-needed residential housing to New Center and to be a part of the revival of Detroit," said Dave Ebner, principle of Barbat Holdings. "We are so thankful to the Woodward Corridor Fund and all of its partners, especially Capital Impact Partners, whom we worked closely with through closing and construction. Without this forward-thinking lending program, this deal would have been impossible to accomplish."
Through Midtown Detroit Inc., developers from Barbat Holdings were introduced to Capital Impact Partners, a national nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, which brokered the financing.
"As a mission-driven lender, we are excited to finance projects like this that support inclusive growth in Detroit by creating access to workforce housing throughout the city," said Melinda Clemons, senior loan officer at Capital Impact Partners. "We are thankful to our partners at The Kresge Foundation, Barbat Holdings, and others for supporting this vision."
The $30-million Woodward Corridor Investment Fund offers long-term, competitive fixed rate loans for building and renovation of multi-family and mixed-use properties. In addition to attracting residents and commercial activity, the goal of the Fund is to create social impact by establishing a sustainable corridor model and expand economic opportunity for all Detroit residents. Launched in 2013, investors in the fund include Capital Impact Partners, which also manages the fund, as well as the Calvert Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Living Cities, the Max M. & Marjory S. Fisher Foundation, MetLife, PNC, and Prudential.
"It's exciting to see this project near completion," said Laura Trudeau, managing director of The Kresge Foundation's Detroit Program. "Our investment in the Woodward Corridor Investment Fund was a unique one for the foundation, particularly in terms of the length of the commitment. But we knew it would jumpstart this kind of investment in Detroit, which is so needed."
The Regis Houze property includes 48 one-bedroom units ranging in size from 525 square feet to 600 square feet, which will rent for $919 to $1,050 a month. The eight studio units range in size from 310 to 365 square feet and will rent for $543 to $639. Two two-bedroom units measure 870 square feet and will rent for $1,523. All units come standard with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, wood veneer flooring, wood cabinets, and washers and dryers. Rents include heat and water. Gated parking is available for tenants.