JPMorgan Chase to invest $15M in Detroit neighborhoods

Candice Williams
The Detroit News
Peter Scher, center, head of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase, announces a $15 investment in Detroit neighborhoods as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, left, and Invest Detroit CEO Dave Blaszkiewicz, right, listen.

JPMorgan Chase will make a $15 million investment in Detroit for redevelopment work in commercial corridors in the city’s neighborhoods, the company said Thursday.

The contribution to the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund includes a $5 million donation and $10 million in a low-interest loans, officials said.

“We wanted to target our investment in the neighborhoods,” Peter Scher, JPMorgan Chase head of corporate responsibility, said during the announcement at the Detroit School for Digital Technology. “It was not growth for the sake of growth, but how do you do it in a sustainable way.”

Joining Scher was Mayor Mike Duggan and Invest Detroit CEO Dave Blaszkiewicz. The school in southwest Detroit, a former police precinct, was a past recipient of funding from JPMorgan Chase.

This latest investment is part of JPMorgan Chase’s $150 million, five-year commitment to Detroit. It will be geared toward projects in commercial corridors in 10 neighborhoods.

Dave Blaszkiewicz of Invest Detroit noted the financial institution’s lengthy period of investment in the city.

In 2014, JPMorgan Chase helped to launch two community development loan funds in Detroit, the Detroit Neighborhoods Fund and Chase Investment Detroit Fund. They were established through community development financial institutions Capital Impact Partners and Invest Detroit.

The fund included $40 million in low-cost debt from JPMorgan Chase to finance construction including mixed-use real estate development, affordable multi-family housing and commercial and retail developments. The funding also provided capital for small and medium-size businesses across the city.

Officials say the funds have leveraged more than $230 million in additional funding from outside sources.

“Creating more opportunities, more commercial space, more residential space, more workforce opportunity,” Scher said. “It worked so well we’re here today to do more.”   

The $15 million investment is the latest the city has received for its Strategic Neighborhood Fund. In December, officials announced that seven regional companies were each donating $5 million for development in seven neighborhoods: Campau/Banglatown, East Warren/Cadieux, Grand River Northwest, Gratiot/Seven Mile, Jefferson Chalmers, Russell Woods/Nardin Park and Warrendale/Cody-Rouge.

The neighborhoods joined three other neighborhoods the city already targeted for redevelopment: Livernois/McNichols, Southwest/West Vernor and Islandview/Greater Villages.

“We’re going to go in each of these seven neighborhoods,” Duggan said. “We’re going to improve the streetscapes, we’re going to support businesses opening up the storefronts, we’re going to make the neighborhoods walkable again. You can walk up to the grocery store like you used to be able to do. That’s the vision of this city.”

Duggan said the government and the banks can do a lot, but it’s business owners that do the hard work.

“What we’re doing is creating opportunities,” he said. “The hard work is being done by the entrepreneurs of the community.”

The city has set a goal of eventually leveraging a total of $105 million of new investment.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN