Enterprise Detroit Announces Name Change to Detroit Development Fund and Plans Move to Harmonie Park

Detroit Development Fund has provided $16 million to 150 Detroit businesses and projects - growing small business and investing in community development for 10 years

Nov 14, 2011, 12:20 ET from Detroit Development Fund

DETROIT, Nov. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Enterprise Detroit, a non-profit, non-traditional lender founded on lending to small business and community development in Detroit, has announced an official name change to Detroit Development Fund. The evolution to Detroit Development Fund is reflective of its commitment to fund projects that build stronger neighborhoods across Detroit, providing $16 million to 150 Detroit businesses and projects, and creating and retaining more than 500 jobs in Detroit. The organization will also move its offices to the city's Harmonie Park neighborhood by the end of 2011.

"Our change to Detroit Development Fund better reflects who we are as an organization," said Ray Waters, President, Detroit Development Fund. "We have always been about impacting Detroit development and building stronger neighborhoods in our city through bold and responsible lending. In a way, our success is indicative of Detroit's success."

Detroit Development Fund has been especially critical in making projects possible in this constricted lending environment and is key to bringing other financial partners into the projects that are helping move Detroit forward.

The organization projects closing approximately $5 million in business loans in 2011; a 42% increase compared to 2010 and an 80% increase compared to 2009 output. Approximately $6 million is projected for 2012; a 70% increase compared to 2010 and a 116% increase compared to 2009 output. Since its inception, more than half of its investment funding has gone to small business.

"Invest Detroit is pleased to be a partner of the Detroit Development Fund.  Ray Waters and his Detroit Development Fund team have a great history of providing lending support to businesses and projects that have had meaningful economic impact on Detroit neighborhoods.  These projects provide jobs and services, and help drive additional revitalization efforts resulting in a better quality of life for the community," said Dave Blaszkiewicz, President, Invest Detroit.  "As an active and collaborative economic partner, Detroit Development Fund is able to leverage their financing efforts to assist in moving projects forward, and serves as an important catalyst for Detroit's continued growth."

As the economy began to decline and Detroit suffered the highest foreclosure rates, and local initiatives were moving towards rehabilitating homes and commercial property, Detroit Development Fund expanded its loan fund to include developer lines of credit, and predevelopment and preconstruction loans to assist with the revitalization of the City of Detroit. 

Currently, it continues to provide its existing loan programs, but in addition, now offers financing for energy efficient improvements, and other larger scale projects that promote job creation, affordable housing, and overall revitalization. Overall project examples include:

  • Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation, whose program expects to rehabilitate and sell up to 100 homes in the next few years. 10 homes have already been renovated/sold resulting in sales above appraisal.

  • Detroit Land Bank Authority Project to buy abandoned homes and rehab them so they are LEED certified.

  • Green Way Fueling - a bio-diesel fuel company for trucks working out of Focus Hope.

  • Small business success stories: Good Girls Go To Paris, whose founder and owner, Torya Blanchard was honored by the Obama Administration as part of the President's "Champions of Change" program and Astro Coffee Bar in Detroit's Corktown.  

With technical assistance funds from supporting foundations, Detroit Development Fund has assisted Workforce Development and Contractor Assistance training organizations to increase their capacity.  Since 2007, over 100 minority contractor companies have been assisted with training certifications, bidding, networking, job placement, and various other resources. 

Detroit Development Fund's new address as of December 2011 is 277 Gratiot, 3rd Floor, Detroit, MI, 48226. Information is available at 313-886-2091.

SOURCE Detroit Development Fund