DEGC project managers, engineers and planners do all the staff work for the Downtown Development Authority, Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Economic Development Corporation, Neighborhood Development Corporation, Local Development Finance Authority and Tax Increment Finance Authority. You might not know what all these groups do, but the point is you don’t have to, because we do.
Through them we have planned and built new streets and other infrastructure downtown, in industrial parks and in key residential neighborhoods. In the last 12 months, the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority alone has approved tax credits supporting $840 million worth of construction.
The DEGC also provides planning, project management and other services under contract to the City of Detroit, and I serve as the City’s chief development officer. So we have every base covered – no matter what issue or question might come up.
As powerful as that is, in the last few months we’ve added to our reach. We’ve joined 12 other groups to form the Economic Development Coalition of Southeast Michigan. The other members of the coalition are Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Detroit Regional Economic Partnership, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Detroit Renaissance, Macomb County, Oakland County, NextEnergy, TechTown, Tourism Economic Development Council and Wayne County.
Our participation in that coalition means that one phone call not only connects you to all our services here in Detroit, it now gives you access to resources throughout the region – especially business services that aren’t tied to a particular location. For instance, NextEnergy has its facility in TechTown, near Wayne State University in Detroit, but the organization is working on business acceleration throughout the state.
In all, our phone number connects you to at least 20 agencies promoting business, and that only counts our formal relationships – not the huge network of business and government contacts that my staff and I have developed over the years. The phone number is only ten digits – 313-963-2940 – but it could be worth millions.
George W. Jackson
Jackson is president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, a non-profit organization that works with businesses, government and other organizations throughout Detroit to encourage and manage economic development projects.