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Partnership with DPS: Adaptive Uses of School Buildings

Detroit LISC is helping Detroit Public Schools address its inventory of more than 80 surplus buildings and vacant lots with a $5 million loan fund for developers looking to repurpose properties into new anchors for high quality affordable housing, businesses and community spaces.

Old Schools, New Uses: Property Developers Conference"Getting developers active in these buildings is essential to the Quality of Life plans that LISC has developed with community residents," says Amber Elliot, Detroit LISC Assistant Program Officer.  "These schools were built in the early to mid-1900s. Unlike most vacant buildings in Detroit, these schools were built to last, and many of them are still in great, or at least salvageable condition. And the City of Detroit has approved their use for housing and commercial venues."  With their spacious classrooms, theaters, cafeterias and sports fields, the schools hold tremendous potential.  In addition to loan capital, LISC provides best practices and technical assistance for deals that can transform un- or underused facilities into community assets. 

The "Old Schools, New Uses: Reinventing Vacant School Buildings & Sites in Detroit for Innovative Redevelopment" conference was held March 13, 2014 to highlight properties and announce the $5 million fund for developers.

For more information about the fund, please contact Rob Dewaelsche at (313) 596-8222 x 22.


Best Practices: LISC Examples for Adaptive Use of School Buildings 

Detroit Public Schools Real Estate Department

Detroit Public Schools List of Properties for Sale


Media Highlights:

Press Release: LISC Launches $5 Million Loan Fund Targeting Redevelopment of Surplus School Buildings in Detroit

From The Detroit News: “Duggan, Detroit schools drum up interest in vacant school properties”

Press Release: DPS Unveils Preliminary Details of New Urban Farm Initiative at the Site of a Former School during Major Property Developers Conference