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Ribbon-cutting held for renovated apartments in Detroit

Corey Williams
Associated Press

Another piece has been added to Detroit’s ever-improving Midtown neighborhood with the renovation of a once-aging and drab apartment building.

Each of the 36 residential units in the Rainer Court Apartments has been leased as crews continue last-minute work, officials said Thursday during a ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony.

Mayor Mike Duggan said he drove the area — which is near Wayne State University, the Detroit Institute of Arts and other cultural institutions — often when he was chief executive at the Detroit Medical Center.

“You had rundown buildings, vacant buildings — and it just broke your heart,” he said.

But over the past few years, Midtown has been a magnet for small shops and new residents. Whole Foods opened a market in 2013, and construction has started nearby on a new hockey arena and 45-block entertainment district. A light rail transportation system is being installed and will cut through the heart of the neighborhood.

The interior of the Rainer Court Apartments in Detroit

A half-dozen or so other projects are being worked on along Alexandrine Street, said Susan Mosey, who heads the nonprofit planning and development group Midtown Detroit Inc.

It’s “just more evidence in the strong interest of people moving back,” she said.

The $6 million Rainer Court project is part of JPMorgan Chase’s $100 million commitment to aid in Detroit’s recovery. In December, the city exited the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, erasing or restructuring $7 billion in debt and pledging to spend $1.7 billion over a decade to improve city services.

“Rainer Court is a great example of how the right kind of capital, partnerships and deep community expertise can produce quality housing for Detroit’s hardworking residents,” JPMorgan Chase Chair and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said in a news release.