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Detroit’s Next Decade of Commercial, Residential, and Retail Development

From fledgling neighborhood improvement efforts to booming downtown projects, the next decade in Detroit will be transformative. Century Partners’ David Alade, Woodborn Partners’ Clifford Brown, Bedrock Detroit’s Kumar Kintala, and Midtown Detroit Inc.’s Susan T. Mosey shed light on what lies ahead for development across the city in a panel moderated by WDIV-TV 4, NBC Host Rhonda Walker.

Kintala opened the conversation with an update on Bedrock Detroit’s much-awaited Hudson Site development, describing it as a “catalyst project,” the positive results of which are hoped to ripple through the metropolitan area over the next decade.

“[Detroit] is a city designed for growth,” Kintala said.

Expanding beyond downtown, Brown shared his unique perspective on the narrative around two Detroits. He claims that the real division is people versus infrastructure, as opposed to the more commonly made comparison of downtown versus neighborhoods.

“Those two things are not mutually exclusive…they each have unique needs, and we have to find a way to meet each of those unique needs while also being sensitive to each other,” Brown said. “We need more of a base to support the work we’re doing while at the same time we need to respect the culture and the people of the city who have been here.”

Alade addressed the improving perception of the city and strides being made in extending progress to neighborhoods.

“I’m most encouraged by what we’re starting to see in the neighborhoods…being able to deliver safe housing that’s affordable, that’s economically accessible for Detroiters,” Alade said.

Regarding development in neighborhoods, Alade advocated for inclusion, ensuring that members of the communities know development is not happening at them, but rather, with them.

Mosey explained the progress and challenges of retail development in the city, especially the New Center area where storefronts filled with women- and minority-owned retailers are taking center stage. She noted that despite the buzz, sustainable development takes time and there are still challenges to overcome.

“First you have to find attractive, patient capital,” Mosey said. “You have to be patient for the market. Downtown and Midtown are still emerging markets.”

Looking to the next decade, Brown cited building lives, communities, and wealth as the focus.

“If you can’t build wealth, it’s not sustainable,” Brown said. “It’s about our ability to go into a neighborhood and service those people as well as get something built that is amazing.”