Please find comments and questions submitted by residents, organizations, community members and professionals who attended a community meeting or shared questions through the Contact form, and responses from the City of Detroit, Detroit Land Bank Authority and finalist teams.

To submit a comment or question to the city, land bank, or a finalist team, please use the Contact form on this website.

General Questions

I have a business/non-profit/organization in the neighborhood, how can I participate in the process?

We would love to hear from you. If you have a business, non-profit, or other organization in the neighborhood with ideas, experience or programs that benefit the neighborhood, please come to our next community meetings to share your vision. You can also reach us at fitzgerald-housing@detroitmi.gov.

What is the Fitzgerald Revitalization Project's position on the upcoming ballot item for the Community Benefits Ordinance? Specifically, what is the project's stance on the "Option A" and "Option B" ballot item for the CBO?

The Fitzgerald Revitalization Project is a land sale and neighborhood development opportunity issued by the City of Detroit’s HRD and PDD departments and DLBA. Because it is not an entity, it does not have a political stance or voting power on ballot items.
From the very beginning of this project, the City of Detroit has engaged neighborhood residents and will continue to do so.

How can a Detroit based non-profit focused on increasing community and neighborhood value get funding to start up?

If you have a business, non-profit, or other organization in the neighborhood with ideas, experience or programs that benefit the neighborhood, we would love to hear from you. Depending on the nature of the non-profit there are a variety of financial resources available. Please come to our next community meetings to share your vision. You can also reach us at fitzgerald-housing@detroitmi.gov.

What kind of help can a homeowner get that purchased a lot from the land bank and they didn't complete it?

Anyone interested in purchasing a sidelot must contact the Detroit Land Bank Authority at (313) 974-6869. To purchase a side lot, a resident must own the property adjacent to an eligible side lot and cannot have unpaid delinquent property taxes on properties located in Wayne County, or have lost property to back taxes in Wayne County in the last three years. Additional information about the side lot program can be found here.

What resources are available to help residents improve their own homes?

The City of Detroit has a 0% Home Repair Loan Program intended to help homeowners with home improvements. More information about this program can be found here. You can use this website to download an application as well as to find an Intake Center to submit your application or ask more questions.

Project Questions

Is there a plan to tap the energy and ideas of the groups who do not win the RFP?

We have asked all non-finalist teams if they are interested in being considered by the selected teams as potential partners. There were great ideas even from those who were not finalists and we want those ideas to be captured as much as possible. We also hope to have future RFP projects of a similar nature in other areas of Detroit. We would like to continue the communication with all groups with interest to learn from the Fitzgerald Revitalization Project and will continue to post updates to the website as the project progresses.

How will long-term homeowners be able to stay as property values and taxes increase? Will current tax rates for lowest income residents be frozen as in the St. Anne's neighborhood in SW Detroit? How will you make sure residents are not gentrified out of Fitzgerald? What guarantees are in place that promises for employing residents will be kept?

If property values rise in the Fitzgerald neighborhood, the State Constitution limits any increase of annual property taxes for residents to the rate of inflation, which is currently less than 1%.
Our goal, however, is to help homeowners capture value in their existing property as the market recovers as a way to build real wealth. We will be continuing our outreach to current residents and renters interested in home ownership who can buy now and be able to benefit from a recovering market. If you or someone you know might be interested, please have them contact our team at fitzgerald-housing@detroitmi.gov.
The City will remain engaged as the implementation process begins. Any selected teams will sign a development agreement that lays out the terms about what the project will deliver (number of homes, timeline, local workforce) and the penalties if the terms are not met.

If these groups come into our neighborhood using Stoepel to Greenlawn as the project area, how many people from the 48221 will receive these jobs and how will they be recruited?

This initiative has the potential to create a variety of jobs that will be targeted to Detroiters, and even more specifically, to residents in the project area. There is no set number of jobs that residents from 48221 will receive; however this project does present a number of job opportunities in industries related to construction, landscape, maintenance, etc. Once a development team comes on board, there will be additional engagement about the project design, home rehabs and job opportunities. Our vision is for residents from this project area to be part of these conversations and considered for these opportunities. To date, there have been eight residents in District 2 who have gone through a green-jobs training programs at the Greening of Detroit, helping to clear and maintain vacant lots in the neighborhood. If anyone is interested in finding out more information about job opportunities, etc. please contact us at fitzgerald-housing@detroitmi.gov.

How can we get more involved in making these projects be a success in the Fitzgerald Community? Will homeowners have a voice in what is being developed on their block?

Since February of this year, we have been regularly meeting with community organization and block clubs within the project area to discuss what they would like to see on their blocks and throughout the neighborhood. The Neighborhood Framework Plan is the result of those conversations. As a development team is selected, we will be introducing them to the community to continue this conversation and get into the next level of detail and implementation. Please remain plugged into your block club and/or neighborhood association to continue receiving information. We will also post updates to this project website throughout the process.

Will there be any opportunities for community residents to invest?

This is a great idea and we would love to hear more about how you would like to invest in the project. As we begin to move into the implementation phase of the project, it seems like the right time to get specific about the opportunities to invest and the interest and ideas residents have for how they would like to participate. Please contact us with any specific ideas: fitzgerald-housing@detroitmi.gov as well as bring them to our next community meetings.

How can we as residents access the proposals of these presentations to learn more? Are there hard copies of your contacts and major bullet points? How are they going to be chosen?

Project summaries of each of the five finalist teams are posted on the project website on the Finalists page. We will also print hardcopies and provide them to block club leaders in the project area.
Based on the feedback we have received to-date from the community about what their priorities and desires are in the redevelopment of their neighborhood as well as an assessment of the finalists’ ability to finance and complete what has been requested, a selection committee will make a recommendation of the team that can best implement the community’s priorities to the Mayor for presentation to the DLBA Board of Directors and Detroit City Council for approval.

Who will own the land? Will it be leased or bought? Will the neighbors and community be able to own and operate programs and property? We've addressed homes an land, what about parks and rec. and programs for youth (0-18)?

The City of Detroit Parks & Recreation and Planning & Development departments are designing, developing, operating and maintaining the park and the greenway. Just as with every other park in the city, there will be opportunities to use it for youth and neighborhood programs. We are also working with block clubs and local community organization to come up with ideas for how best to program the park and public spaces. If you have ideas, please reach out to us at fitzgerald-housing@detroitmi.gov or bring them to our next community meeting.
Other than the park and greenway, the goal is for all publicly-owned parcels to either be sold to residents as sidelots, to a development team for rehabbing vacant homes and maintaining vacant lots, or leasing to community gardens. We are continuing to encourage all residents who are interested in purchasing a sidelot to contact the Detroit Land Bank Authority at (313) 974-6869. To purchase a side lot, a resident must own the property adjacent to an eligible side lot and cannot have unpaid delinquent property taxes on properties located in Wayne County, or have lost property to back taxes in Wayne County in the last three years. Additional information about the side lot program can be found here.

How were the finalists that presented selected?

We received 13 proposals total and narrowed it down to the five that presented based on the following themes:
Project Description and Work Plan; Financial Model and Team Capacity; Diversity and Local Capacity Building; Prior Experience; Innovation & Sustainability; Project Size; and Bid Price.
If proposals were not feasible and, as a result, did not score appropriately, they did not make the final round.

Are you here to make Fitzgerald make money on your behalf? Are you really here to help the citizens that live here?

The Fitzgerald Revitalization Project is not an opportunity for the City or DLBA to make money. Unfortunately, a significant amount of property is publicly-owned in a very concentrated area. The economic reality is that this land not only doesn’t contribute revenue to the city via taxes to support city services, but comes with a maintenance cost that the city doesn’t receive revenue to fund. This project is a chance to address vacancy and blight issues in an otherwise strong and vibrant community. Our vision is for the homes that can be rehabbed to be occupied to bring greater density to the neighborhood, and for the vacant lots to benefit the neighborhood through providing a sense of beauty, new public places to gather, environmental benefits like managing runoff from storms, or producing fresh food or flowers locally.

Will there be opportunity for homeowner to purchase the lot next door to their homes?

Throughout the process, we have asking residents who are interested in purchasing a site lot to contact the Detroit Land Bank Authority at (313)974-6869. A side lot fair specifically targeted to residents of District 2 was held early this year on March 19th at the Northwest Activity Center. We continue to encourage residents to reach out to the DLBA as soon as possible.
To purchase a side lot, a resident must own the property adjacent to an eligible side lot and cannot have unpaid delinquent property taxes on properties located in Wayne County, or have lost property to back taxes in Wayne County in the last three years. Additional information about the side lot program can be found here.

Are financials/business models for all groups available?

Financials were one of the criteria that all proposals were scored on. All finalist teams did submit proposals with financial assumptions, project costs, and potential sources. While we are not sharing the complete financial models because we are in the midst of a competitive proposal process, a summary of the estimated project costs will be included in the finalist summaries on the Finalist page.

Once this neighborhood is "revitalized" how do you intend to ensure that property taxes and rents do not increase to the point where current residents are left with a heavy financial burden?

If property values rise in the Fitzgerald neighborhood, the State Constitution limits any increase of annual property taxes for residents to the rate of inflation, which is currently less than 1%.
Our goal, however, is to help homeowners capture value in their existing property as the market recovers as a way to build real wealth. We will be continuing our outreach to current residents and renters interested in home ownership who can buy now and be able to benefit from a recovering market. If you or someone you know might be interested, please have them contact our team at fitzgerald-housing@detroitmi.gov.

Before putting trees/farms on the land, what are you going to do about the burned down houses and controlling the rodents?

Any homes owned by the DLBA that cannot be rehabbed through this project will be demolished. Clearing burned homes and vacant lots will remove much of the trash and debris which will reduce the potential food sources and places to shelter that attract rodents. To prevent the recurrence of those issues, all future projects will comply with city ordinances that regulate sanitation, urban garden, and agricultural uses.

What city did they use as a model for this project?

Spackman Mossop & Michaels, the design team who worked with the neighborhood to develop the framework plan that the team responded to, drew on their experience implementing a similar vacant land strategy in New Orleans. As far as we know, the scale of vacant homes and land within a neighborhood like Fitzgerald is a challenge that is unique to Detroit. Although we searched for models in other cities, we did not find a model that was an exact match to this project. We did look at examples of smaller projects, from which we have borrowed certain elements, as well as other projects in Detroit that have used similar ideas at a different scale. We plan to continue to update this website with what we learn from the project in the hopes that this project might benefit other neighborhoods and communities in Detroit, or in other cities.

What decision-making authority do residents have? How is their input meaningfully incorporated? Would you consider participatory budgeting for neighborhood amenities?

The Neighborhood Framework plan was created and adapted over several months to reflect community feedback, including the incorporation of existing lots and projects that neighborhood residents and block clubs have already been maintaining. All of the community feedback we have been receiving throughout the process is posted on this website to provide greater transparency and communication about the feedback we’ve received. As a development team is selected, we will be introducing them to the community to continue this conversation and get into the next level of detail and implementation. Please remain plugged into your block club and or neighborhood association to continue receiving information and contributing ideas. We will also post updates to the project website (www.fitzgerald-detroit.com) throughout the process.
We are also working with block clubs and local community organization to come up with ideas for how best to program the park and public spaces. Part of that discussion is identifying where there are budget needs. If you have ideas, please reach out to us at fitzgerald-housing@detroitmi.gov or bring them to our next community meeting.

Comments

I highly recommend the "Fitzgerald Team" because their work ethics are very professional.
Nobody explained their financial models (except maybe Fisheye).
I was impressed with Black Caucus Foundation, Fitz Forward, and Fitzgerald Community Farms.
I think Motor City Grounds Crew should be involved in any project from what I have seen in the City of Detroit. They have went from Greenlawn to Cherrylawn cleaning, and boarding up houses, cutting down trees. They have cleaned up numerous parks. They keep the City of Detroit looking very, very nice.