May 13, 2015

Colony and Fisher Arms Press Release

Detroit – Construction steams full speed ahead with spring-like temperatures in Detroit, Michigan, where construction workers historically rehabilitate the expansive Colony and Fisher Arms Apartments. The Apartments, which serve over 160 families in the neighborhood, transferred ownership last year and construction began immediately to renovate, repair, and revive a safe and healthy home that residents deserve.
The Colony and Fisher Arms Apartments is an acquisition and historic rehabilitation consisting of 161 family apartment homes, including 9 efficiency units, 104 one-bedroom units and 48 two-bedroom units. The property is adjacent to the “Gold Coast” historic neighborhood of the East Jefferson Avenue corridor. The property is surrounded by many iconic properties in the City of Detroit, including the Detroit Water Works Park, the Berry Subdivision, and the Mayoral Residence, the Manoogian Mansion.
The property was originally built in 1924 and was improved with a moderate rehabilitation in 1985 with no significant improvements having been made since. This historic renovation will be a rehab of the existing structures only with no additional square footage being added.
The development is bringing over $24 million of investment to the City of Detroit. Great Lakes Capital Fund provided Housing Tax Credit Equity and Federal Historic Tax Credit Equity as a source of financing, covering $18 million of total development costs. Other financing partners
on the project include an FHA First Mortgage, HUD Restructured Mortgage and an AHP Award from Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis.
The Colony and Fisher Arms have had their share of troubles, most visibly in September 2013 when the Detroit Police launched a 150-person raid on what they called the “most problematic” building in the city.
The goal of the Developer, Great Lakes Capital Fund and Chesapeake Community Advisors, development consultant, is to turn that reality around 180-degrees.
The experienced and quality development team has already outlined a number of steps to turn the community around. The newly renovated apartment homes will be under new property management and all current and prospective renters must undergo criminal background backs. Past rule violations and payment history of current renters will be taken into account when leasing the renovated apartments. Security cameras and monitoring is already in effect for the safety of the residents. Once construction is complete on-site security personnel will be added during the nighttime hours.
The development team is comprised of Building Blocks Nonprofit Housing Corporation, an affiliate of Great Lakes Capital Fund, as the Developer; Chesapeake Community Advisors, as the developer consultant; G. Fisher Construction Company, as the general contractor; Fusco, Shaffer & Pappas, Inc., as the architect and Great Lakes Capital Fund, as the tax credit investor.
“We had just made the decision to purchase Colony and Fisher Arms when the drug-raid made national news headlines,” President and CEO for Great Lakes Capital Fund, Mark McDaniel, said. “But we knew that’s how bad it was even before we saw that, so it didn’t really scare us. We’ve seen the worst of the worst, and in working with our partners, who are the best in the industry, we turn troubled developments around. We change the lives of residents and then the whole community that surrounds it – for the better. That is the mission of Great Lakes Capital Fund.”
“We had the property under control via a purchase agreement and we knew this would be a perfect opportunity for us collaborate with Building Blocks and Great Lakes Capital Fund to preserve and renovate Colony and Fisher Arms Apartments.” said David Prout, President for Chesapeake Community Advisors, Inc.
Construction is expected to complete December 1, 2015.