Residential & Commercial Development


Forest Arms

The Forest Arms Apartment Building is an iconic four-story U-shaped building that was constructed in 1905 on the corner of Second Avenue and Forest Street.  A tragic fire damaged the structure in 2008.  MDI partnered with local developer to restore the structure back to its former glory offering 74 apartments with 2 commercial businesses on the lower level.  A new roof was added to the complex in 2009 and stabilization work has been completed.  Restoration is scheduled to begin in 2012.


Woodward-Willis Mixed-Use Development

In the future, MDI will develop a new building complex on the vacant northeast corner of Woodward and Willis that will include office and retails space. This is an $8.5 million project that will demonstrate appropriate mixed-use redevelopment for Woodward Avenue by using quality materials and urban design principles that promote sustainability and walkability.


110 E. Ferry

MDI recently acquired the historic mansion adjacent to the Inn on Ferry Street.  Four extended stay apartments are planned at this location.  Predevelopment funds for the project were contributed by the Kresge Foundation and acquisition financing was provided by Invest Detroit.  In addition, the Americana Foundation has approved funding to implement a landscaping plan that reflects the mansion’s era.


The Auburn

Midtown Detroit, Inc., in partnership with Invest Detroit and a private developer, is in the process of turning a blighted area of Midtown into a $12 million, 56,000 square foot, three-story mixed-use development project located on the southeast corner of Cass and Canfield.  The architect, Detroit based Kraemer Design Group, designed the Auburn to include 54 one-bedroom apartments, 4 studio apartments, 11 retail spaces, and a 97-space parking lot.  Unique added features include French balconies and 2 common spaces for residents consisting of a small outdoor terrace on the second floor and a ground floor indoor/outdoor space complete with an outdoor fireplace.  Construction on the Auburn began September 2011 and is expected to have an occupancy target date of summer 2012.

This new construction is particularly significant in that the demand for residential rental units in Midtown is at an all-time high with present occupancy at 95 percent.  $3.7 million is being provided by NCB Capital Impact through the Living Cities Integration Initiative. Additional support includes support from the Ford Foundation and tax credits from the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority.

The Auburn joins the ranks of recent significant residential redevelopment including the Kresge, Canfield and Stuberstone Lofts, Venn Manor, and the Edman Apartments.  Additional demand for goods and services will help to drive further development of small, independent retailers adding to the growing commercial mix and complementing existing businesses such as Avalon Bakery and Goodwells Market.


Boulevard West Building

The Boulevard West Building in New Center is now owned by MDI and is being built out for office and retail uses.  Numerous non-profit and for profit tenants occupy space in the property across from the Fisher Building.


Living Cities Integration Initiative

Living Cities, a philanthropic organization that supports improving the lives of low-income individuals in urban areas, launched The Integration Initiative (TII) in January 2010.  The Integration Initiative (TII) supports cities that are harnessing existing momentum and leadership for change, overhauling long obsolete systems and fundamentally reshaping communities and policies to meet the needs of low-income residents. 

In October 2010, Living Cities announced five sites chosen for The Integration Initiative. Detroit was selected as one of the five urban regions to receive TII funding designated to challenge traditional ways of doing business in the community in order to improve access to education, housing, health care, transit and jobs for area residents.  $22 million in grants, commercial loans and Program-Related Investments (PRIs) were awarded to MDI to develop and implement the program in the Midtown, New Center, and North End communities. PRIs offer flexible, low-cost loans provided at below-market rates to support charitable activity.  For more information about the Living Cities Integration Initiative, visit

Contributions from TII with additional support from the Skillman Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation support the local Detroit Woodward Corridor Initiative (WCI).  WCI is designed to help fight the out-migration of Detroit’s population to the suburbs and seeks to “redensify” the urban core by stabilizing and improving key neighborhoods, providing access to improved educational, employment, and small business opportunities. The three-year initiative seeks to align anchor institutions’ hiring and procurement; land use planning; transit corridor development; and neighborhood revitalization in ways that secure direct benefits for residents while attracting new private investment. The initiative will also help to make Detroit more “business friendly” by coordinating five business divisions within the City, identifying bottlenecks, streamlining processes, and dramatically improving the climate for small business growth and private investment. For more information on WCI, please visit Woodward Corridor Initiative.