Mapping Detroit: Where the rest of the budget grants are going

This is part of a series from the unofficial cartographer of Detroit, Alex B. Hill, a self-described “data nerd and anthropologist” who combines mapping, data, and analytics with storytelling and human experience. He is the founder of DETROITography and author of “Detroit in 50 Maps."
Historically Lansing politicians and Detroit officials have not been the best of friends, but the latest Michigan State budget changes that quite significantly. Previously, it has been very difficult for Detroit-specific projects to get funded in the State budget, but line item “grants”  in the approved 2024 budget include numerous Detroit projects.

Media have covered the grants to Detroit and metro Detroit projects in the 2024 Michigan State Budget and for observers who are aware of the monied interests and political relationships between Detroit and Lansing, there isn’t much that comes as a surprise. But while 15 obvious Detroit projects often receive coverage, overall there were 36 Detroit grants or notable line items totalling over $213 million. Almost half of that amount is from the literacy lawsuit settlement with students from Detroit Public Schools for $94.4 million.

Most of the grants are $1.5 million or less. A handful are between $3 million, like those supporting the Detroit GOAL Line, Detroit Parent Network, and Global Detroit to $5 million for projects like the Fisher Building redevelopment as well as the same amount for the Fisher Body Plant No. 21 redevelopment.

The Greektown streetscape and a somewhat unclear “Henry Ford Health Center” (assumed to be the new $2.5 billion expansion of Henry Ford Hospital) take the top dollar amount at $20 million. Other projects that were missed by mainstream media include three grants to Motor City Blight Busters, Grandmont Rosedale Mixed Use Development, and support for the North Rosedale Community House. All of them have high likelihood of neighborhood-level impact. 

Just as notable are the requests that were not granted:
  • Grand Prix $2 million
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra $2 million
  • Global Epicenter of Mobility (Detroit Regional Partnership) $5 million
  • North End Housing and Business Preservation Project $1 million
Grand River rendering (photo supplied).
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Alex B. Hill.