374-unit residential complex to bring community benefits to Lafayette Park

Lafayette Park has some of the city's iconic apartment buildings and housing complexes, most notably the Mies van der Rohe townhouses. Now the area will get a new kind of multi-family development, one that could add a greater income diversity to the area. 

Ginosko Development Company, a Michigan-based developer, will invest $108 million to build Lafayette West, which will consist of 374 new units of residential. Not only will 20 percent of the units be set aside for residents at 80 percent of area median income or lower, but the development will fall under the city's Community Benefits Ordinance (CBO), which is triggered for developments of $75 million or more. 

Also according to a press release, "The project is also subject to Executive Order 2016-1, which requires that 51 percent of the hours worked on the construction must be performed by verified Detroit residents, or that the developer contributes to the city's Workforce Training Fund to build the pool of skilled trade workers who live in the city."

Lafayette West will be constructed on 5.2 acres of land between I-375 and Rivard Street. The development will include a mix of housing type: "a 12-story high-rise with 114 luxury rental units and attached parking, 200 lofts for rent, also with enclosed parking, and 60 for-sale townhouses, carriage houses and stacked flats with attached garages."

The CBO will require Ginosko to meet with a nine-member Neighborhood Advisory Council to work out a community benefits agreement. The CBO has only gone into effect several times since its passage in 2016. 

"I truly believe in the saying 'love your neighbor as you love yourself.' And if I were living in the impacted area of Lafayette West, I would want to know what's going on in my neighborhood, and how I can participate. That is the exact intent of the CBO process and Executive Order 2016-1, which Ginosko Development Company respects and welcomes," said Amin Irving, President & CEO of Ginosko Development Company, in a press release.

Ginsoko expects the project to be completed in 2020. 
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Aaron Mondry is a Detroit-based freelance writer. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @AaronMondry.