Developers Matt Naimi and Oren Goldenberg are featured in Crain's Detroit Business about the newest mixed-use housing project in Detroit's Elijah McCoy neighborhood, the Dreamtroit. A collaboration with the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund and LISC Detroit come to fruition, the Dreamtroit brings affordable and workforce housing, entertainment and retail space to an old warehouse in an eclectic, artistic, and much-needed way.
An artist behind a drop-off recycling program, Recycle Here, and a filmmaker, respectively, Naimi and Goldenbreg do not resemble typical developers of such a large-scale project. But they had a passion to provide a unique environment for artists to live and create without feeling burdened by high costs of living.
"(With filmmaking) You have to have a vision, you have to raise money, you have to manage a lot of people and you have to bring community support to get it done," said Goldenberg. "So in simple ways, it's the same with this, right? But I mean, when we started six years ago, Matt and I didn't know what a pro forma was. We needed to learn a lot and have had great support along the way."
The Dreamtroit is located a couple blocks south of Henry Ford Hospital, with 38,000 square feet of entertainment and retail space to be occupied by tenants like the music venue Marble Bar, which is opening a nearly 9,000-square-foot outpost called the Lincoln Factory there, and Michigan & Trumbull, the popular Corktown pizzeria that's relocating in the coming months. Others will also occupy it, including three nonprofits, drop-off recycling program Recycle Here, and a grocer called Metro Grocery.
"Detroit Housing for the Future Fund and LISC Detroit are especially proud of the coordination of all of the partners on this complex financial deal," Camille Walker Banks, executive director of LISC Detroit, said in an emailed statement. "Together, we were able to get Dreamtroit's amazing project financed, while still ensuring that 90 percent of the units are below 80 percent AMI, with 22 percent of the units below 50 percent AMI. That's a remarkable success, especially in the New Center area, which is seeing a lot of new investment."