The ribbon will bring new housing and retail to the East Warren Corridor

A new development on Detroit’s east side took another step forward on Tuesday. The Ribbon, a $6 million mixed-use adaptive reuse project, received performance-based loan approval from Michigan’s $1.3 million Community Revitalization Program, plus brownfield support Detroit Industrials at $552,426.

The ribbon is led by Edward Carrington of Flux City Development. It was designed by Infuz Architects and the contractor is Artisan Contracting. Construction is expected to begin this summer and be completed in fall 2024.

The development will take a former one-story 5,760 square foot Charter Bank building on the corner of East Warren and Kensington and transform it into a modern three-story 21,000 square foot mixed-use building. The development includes commercial and common areas, as well as 18 residential units on the top two floors. Many residential units will be offered at a median income of 50-80% of the area. Outside, the Ribbon will have an outdoor food court and improvements will be made to the site’s lighting, sidewalks and landscaping.

Google Street View of the site 2019

The project was born within the framework of the Strategic Neighborhood Fund. “In February 2020, Invest Detroit solicited proposals from qualified entities to rehabilitate the existing commercial structure on the East Warren Commercial Corridor,” Carrington said. “The ribbon was selected based on direct feedback from local residents as to who should have the capacity to develop the site.”

Carrington calls himself the mayor of Flux City. “A developer interacts with so many stakeholders throughout the project (communities, tenants, architects, GCs, funders), and must ensure that all of these stakeholders are satisfied to some degree, similar to what a mayor does when running a city.”

He says that during the engagement period, the community gave a lot of information about what they would like to see in space. “During our engagement sessions, amenities that the community could directly interact with, such as a cafe, market, restaurant and bar, were in high demand. The community made it clear that they have a real need spaces for neighbors to gather and collaborate together.” A commercial tenant has yet to be named, but they plan to incorporate major community requests and will bring a cafe/restaurant to the space.

Last spring, the city announced improvement plans for East Warren through the Strategic Neighborhoods Fund, including housing stabilization, streetscapes and park improvements. “With help from the Strategic Neighborhood Initiative and many amenities such as quick access to nearby towns, long-standing retail shopping choices, public/private schools, and strong community bones,” Carrington says , “The East Warren Commercial Corridor is poised to become one of the best thoroughfares in the city.”

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