Negotiations over benefits between Corktown Neighborhood Advisory Council and Ford near conclusion

Many in Detroit and around the country are paying close attention to talks between Ford Motor Company, which recently purchased the historic Michigan Central Station, and the Corktown Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC), a group of residents and stakeholders tasked with negotiating benefits over the building's redevelopment. 

Because the purchase was over $75 million, it triggered Detroit's Community Benefits Ordinance, which requires the developer to meet with a local NAC to develop terms to mitigate the potential negative effects of the redevelopment. 

The Detroit Free Press reported on Sept. 17 that the Corktown NAC submitted its proposal to Ford. Allie Gross writes that the NAC impact reported included "$15 million going to the City of Detroit for neighborhood development, affordable housing, education and workforce training, and $24 million in Impacted Neighborhood funds."

That money would be put towards rent subsidies, a home repair grant program, park improvements, a scholarship program, and more. 

On Monday, Sept. 24, Ford responded. According to Crain's Detroit Business, the company has agreed to invest $10 million into a benefits package, and "leverage other available public and private resources for a total investment of $22.5 million."

That $10 million will be divided into separated investments in affordable housing, Invest Detroit's Core City Strategic Fund, and half in education and workforce training.

According to Crain's, the NAC unanimously agreed to the new proposal. Both parties will present the agreement to City Council on Oct. 11 for final approval. 

Though no one was directly quoted in the Crain's piece, some local residents were disappointed in the outcome. "[C]ommunity members expressed concerns that the $2.5 million direct contribution to the affordable housing fund is 'totally inadequate' given what is expected to be a sharp increase in real estate values and rental prices as Ford ramps up its presence in the neighborhood," writes Kirk Pinho. 

Read more articles by Aaron Mondry.

Aaron Mondry is a Detroit-based freelance writer. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @AaronMondry.
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