~ story contributed by Jordan Woods for Steed Media
Detroit’s “comeback” has been a hot topic of discussion in recent months. This is especially true within the last few weeks, with national events such the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit and the TEDxDetroit events both taking center stage in the city. However, these type of events and discussions often leave several important questions unanswered:
- Will the economic benefits of such a comeback benefit local residents of the inner city?
- How will local businesses be supported as large corporations set up shop?
Well, on the snowy morning of Wednesday, Nov. 6, strides were made at reaching some answers.
Residents, local vendors, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan, and TCF Bank came together for a neighborhood partnership announcement that unveiled a plan to invest more than $5 million into the historic Grandmont Rosedale community on Detroit’s west side. Planned uses for TCF’s investment include a local school STEM lab, walkable neighborhoods, accessibility investments, and allocations to aid businesses in the area.
In addition to this, TCF is planning to open a branch right in the heart of the Grandmont Rosedale community, which would be their first Detroit branch outside of the downtown area. Branch efforts will focus on guiding entrepreneurs and small-business owners towards options for raising capital.
“We have been given the privilege to assist in the continued growth and strength of one of our city’s most committed and substantial neighborhoods,” remarked Gary Torgow, executive chairman of TCF bank.“ Grandmont Rosedale has a storied history of great people and great dedication in Detroit.”
The investment is the latest installment of Detroit’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund. The initiative has a goal of partnering with companies to raise $130 Million to invest in seven select Detroit neighborhoods. Initiatives include:
- Protecting affordable housing rates
- Grants to improve neighborhood infrastructure (streets, parks, etc.)
- Kickstarting local businesses
By helping to make Detroit’s neighborhoods more affordable and livable, the fund represents Detroit’s holistic approach to not just supporting economic activity, but the people who drive that activity as well.
“We’re trying to get back to a city where people walk in the neighborhoods and support businesses in the neighborhoods,” Mayor Duggan told rolling out.
TCF joins other corporate partners such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Penske Corporation in supporting these activities as well.
Many Detroiters are rightfully skeptical of such partnerships, due to past predatory lending and business practices on the part of some large corporations in the city. However, non-exploitative frameworks, such as the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, can do a lot to dampen this stigma, thereby encouraging all to take advantage of and look fondly upon the resources that these entities have to offer for Detroit.
For more information on the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, please click here.