City seeks developer for housing on Corktown, Southwest Detroit border

Candice Williams
The Detroit News
The City of Detroit is seeking developers to build mixed-use, mixed-income housing on vacant, city-owned land on the border of Southwest Detroit and Corktown.

Detroit — As the potential for development in the Corktown area is abuzz, the city is seeking developers to build mixed-use, mix-income housing on the border with Southwest Detroit. 

City officials say the plan for the vacant land at Bagley and 16th will bring affordable housing and retail to the area and strengthen the connection between both neighborhoods.

“As the city’s revitalization spreads into the neighborhoods, we are focused on developing high-quality, well-designed and affordable mixed-use projects that fits in with the existing culture of the neighborhood,” said Donald Rencher, director of Housing and Revitalization in a statement Thursday.

“The vacant land at Bagley and 16th is a gap in this thriving area, and we want to make sure that when that gap is filled, it meets the needs of the long-term residents there.”

The request comes after earlier this month Ford Motor Co. announced plans to refurbish the nearby Michigan Central Depot by 2022 as office space for 5,000 people.

The city is looking for developers to submit proposals and site designs that feature retail space and at least 20 residential units. At least 20 percent of the units are to be set aside as affordable housing, which is for households making 80 percent of the median income or lower, about $38,000 a year.

Vacant land near 16th Street and Bagley in Detroit.

Among the city's desires is for the plan to integrate "with the existing street grid and further the development of the neighborhood as a dense, walkable community."

The Planning and Development Department’s West Vernor planning study identified the property for development.

The project is an exciting one for the Mexicantown neighborhood, said Myrna Segura, Southwest Detroit Business Association director of business district development and Mexicantown Main Street program manager.

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to participate in this meaningful project and share our community perspective,” she said. 

Submissions are due by 5 p.m. Aug. 14, and the city expects to select a developer by September. Construction could start as early as 2019 and be completed in 2021. 

Proposals can be submitted via email to or in person to the City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department. For information, visit

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN