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Labor and Economic Opportunity

MSHDA approves $23.4 million to redevelop Detroit's vacant Herman Gardens site

Media Contact: Misty Miller

March 1, 2017

Lansing, MICH. – The former 139-acre Herman Gardens site nestled between Joy Road and Tireman Avenue in northwest Detroit is slated for a major redevelopment, following approval by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority Board.
“This revitalization will add to the affordable housing options in the city and transform a vacant site into a stable, economically-balanced neighborhood that fits in with the existing community,” said Earl Poleski, executive director at MSHDA.

Plans for the new project will complement the adjacent residential neighborhood and create commercial and service amenities that will benefit future residents as well as the established families and individuals in the area.

Gardenview Estates will consist of 97 one- and two-story townhomes ranging from three-bedroom, two-bath to one-bedroom, one-bath units. Sixty-seven townhomes will be reserved for families whose incomes does not exceed 60 percent of area median income (AMI) and the remaining 30 units will be for those whose incomes do not exceed 50 percent AMI.

The site has been vacant since 1997, after Herman Gardens residents were relocated and the property was demolished due to significant deferred maintenance, including extensive structural problems.

After being challenged to come up with a revitalization strategy by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Detroit Housing Commission (DHC) proposed a plan that took into consideration input from former Herman Gardens residents as well as other community stakeholders. The plan reflects “the spirit of cooperation and excitement by various departments within the City of Detroit, the neighborhood, self-sufficiency service providers and a number of financial institutions,” the funding application stated.

The project sponsor, Norstar Development, has made commitments to residents of the former Herman Gardens public housing site giving them an opportunity to return to the site once rebuilt.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*
*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit