people standing around a podium outside
Detroit developer Charles Dickerson III and his team were joined by Mayor Mike Duggan Monday to break ground on “The Beauton.” The project, under development since 2019, is expected to take around a year to build and new tenants will move in starting in summer 2024. (Photo by Paul Stryker)

The city’s North End is bringing in 29 new apartment units aimed at providing affordable housing for residents. 

Detroit developer Charles Dickerson III and his team were joined by Mayor Mike Duggan Monday to break ground on “The Beauton.” The project, in pre-development since 2019, is expected to take around a year to build and new tenants will move in starting in summer 2024. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaks at. a podium
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaks at the July 17, 2023, groundbreaking for The Beauton, a new 29-unit apartment building aimed at providing affordable housing for Detroiters. (Photo by Erik Lominchar)

The $7.3 million project was funded by several different organizations and investors, including the Detroit Housing for Future Fund (DHFF), a private investment fund directing dollars toward the construction of new affordable housing and the preservation of existing units. The DHFF loaned $1.55 million to the project which will include 10 micro-studios, 15 studios, and two one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. 

“There is no reason there should be vacant land here,” Duggan said while standing in front of an empty lot at the corner of Horton and Beaubien. 

“You are so close to Midtown and the jobs, you’re just blocks away from the Woodward bus station and the QLINE and access to thousands of jobs,” he said. “This should be an ideal place for people to want to live.” 

The Beauton is also supported by Capital Impact Partners, LSIC Detroit, Ebiara Fund, and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. 

The Beauton rendering
The Beauton, a 29-unit development planned for the city’s North End, broke ground Monday July 17, 2023. It is expected to welcome residents in summer 2024. (Rendering by Dokes Design Architecture)

Some residents who live on the block were in attendance Monday and eager to learn more about the project. Thomas Ramirez has been a resident since 2002 and said his brother is a project manager in the area and owns property on the block that he’s been fixing up for a long time. 

“I feel double-sided on it. A lot of these houses are older, so a lot of these people have been here for at least 50 years in these houses and in their parent’s houses, so there is a historical aspect to it that these apartments won’t fit,” he said. “But in the second half, I like the aspect of bringing more residents over here because we got a lot of beautiful things popping over here with the New Center area and the QLINE down the street. Anything with new development and bringing more people in this area will be a plus because there are a lot of good things going on in this area, which is amazing property value-wise.”

The apartments will not be family-oriented homes, however. Twenty-seven of twenty-nine units will be single-room apartments, with only two options suitable for two people. The apartment complex will have thirty-three bedrooms within the twenty-nine units. Rent for the micro-studio units is estimated to start at $700 monthly. The units will be set aside for those making between 50% to 120% of the area median income (AMI), a regional measurement that translates to $33,150 to $79,560 for one person. More than half of the units are for those at or below 80%, or a person making $53,040. Affordability is guaranteed for 12 years.

The size and type of affordable housing developments in the city have been a point of contention among Detroit’s City Council members. Last week, the panel delayed a vote on tax incentives for an unrelated project to renovate a vacant building and add lofts amid concern over how smaller affordable units don’t do enough to address the city’s demand for family homes.

The significance of The Beauton stems from those who are spearheading it, officials said Monday. The project is the first in the city led by Charles Dickerson III, who heads CADS III Management, which specializes in property leasing, management and customer service.

The Beauton also has benefited from a loan from the Ebiara Fund, designed to ensure that developers of color participate in Detroit’s rebuilding.

“The Beauton is the first “from the ground up” project for Charles Dickerson and CADS III Management,” said Rod Hardamon, managing director of Ebiara. “Our goal at Ebiara is to make sure that developers like Charles have a significant role in shaping Detroit long into the future.”

Horton Street resident Christopher Michaels showed his support Monday for the apartment’s construction. 

“People need affordable places. Not everyone can afford a house or the means to build one or renovate one,” he told BridgeDetroit, adding the neighborhood is up and coming and he sees any new housing development as a net gain for the community.  

“My understanding is going to be kind of a mixed development. This could be micro-units similar to like, efficiency, really tiny ones going up from there,” he said. “Kind of attracts quite a few younger people.” 

Including the Beauton, the DHFF has funded 13 projects totaling 435 new or preserved affordable units in the city. 

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