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Story of the Year

Like many urban waterfronts, the bank of the Detroit River east of downtown has long needed attention. As a historically industrial area, much of it now designated as brownfields, the neighborhood nevertheless commands dramatic views of the Milliken State Park and the riverfront: the kind of place that is ripe for development and community enjoyment.

So when a private sector developer stepped in to build there, LISC had an important role to play: to help actualize a project that would remediate the local environment and nurture an inclusive neighborhood at the same time. Fortunately, the developer, McCormack Baron Salazar, has an impressive track record of doing just that—and has redeveloped deteriorated public housing into economically integrated neighborhoods around the country.


But the St. Louis-based firm still needed help. The complexity of developing and managing high quality affordable housing is different in every locale. MBS hadn’t had a presence in Detroit for 20 years but its founder, Richard Baron, a Detroit native, told Crain’s that he was “very excited about really coming back home to help the city in this next phase of its renaissance.”

LISC provided two bridge loans, totaling $5.5 million, which helped Orleans Landing become a reality. Today, the development has created 278 units along Detroit’s riverfront which is emerging as a desirable area for housing and retail. Fifty-six of the units are affordable, providing a bulwark of affordability in the fast-changing neighborhood.

Orleans Landing also offers amenities such as a community lounge, fitness center and pool. The development also features 10,000 square feet of commercial and community space, and is integrated into the surrounding street grid in a way that creates a walkable, urban environment. Thanks to LISC and MBS, that river view will be shared by Detroiters from all walks of life for years to come.

Photo Credit: Sam Fentress Photography


Since 1990:

$225 million
total investment

$1.1 billion

affordable homes
& apartments

2,089,649 sq. ft.
commercial &
community space

2017 Funders:

Private Sector Support

Public Sector Support


Executive Director: Tahirih Ziegler

600 Woodward Ave., Suite 1600
Detroit, MI 48226

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